USW VP Tom Conway: WTO Undermines U.S. Trade Enforcement

Earlier this month, the Trump administration unveiled a trade agenda to Congress that aims to punish countries that violate international trade laws, even if that means ignoring unfavorable decisions by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

USW International Vice President Tom Conway discussed the shift in trade policy on the Leslie Marshall Show, and explained the problems unfair trade causes American manufacturers and workers. He also outlined the findings of a new report by trade attorneys Terence Stewart and Elizabeth Drake that spells out how U.S. trade enforcement has been undermined in rulings by the WTO’s Appellate Body.

As a result of unfair and often illegal practices by our foreign trade partners, thousands of factories have closed and millions of jobs have disappeared. The U.S. government’s ability to take effective action against illegal trade has saved thousands of jobs by implementing tariffs on subsidized and dumped goods, but this work has been undermined by the WTO.

“This is really about holding countries accountable to the agreements they made when they entered the WTO,” Conway explains.

With 164 nations belonging to the WTO, the U.S. accounted for less than 13 percent of trade remedy measures imposed by WTO members from 1995 to 2015, but the United States was subject to 57.5 percent of the WTO's decisions in trade remedy disputes, with the Appellate Body ruling against the United States more than 90 percent of the time.

To hear the entire interview:

Report commissioned by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)

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