USW Calls for Measures to Address Predatory Trade Practices, Advance Human Rights as China Marks 20 Years in WTO

Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, (412) 562-2444, 

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today, advocating for stronger domestic mechanisms against Chinese state-led, market-distorting trade practices and enhanced efforts to fight Chinese Communist Party (CCP) human rights abuses in advance of the 20th anniversary of China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO):

“It’s long been clear that China’s entry into the WTO two decades ago was a mistake that has since allowed the Chinese Communist Party to leverage its predatory trade practices against other member nations, even while it continues to exploit workers in its own country.

“As we now look to confront Chinese overcapacity and other global distortions, we cannot simply count on the CCP’s willingness to adapt to international norms or the WTO to hold it to them. We must instead deploy our own defense mechanisms to safeguard our workers and industries and the communities they support. 

“We must also redouble our fight against the CCP’s well-established record of human rights abuses and attacks on democratic freedoms: from genocide against the Uyghurs to denying the people of Hong Kong the rights they were promised. 

“Sens. Brown and Portman’s Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 and the companion bill U.S. Reps. Sewell and Johnson introduced into the House last week represent a much-needed, bipartisan opportunity to strengthen our domestic trade remedy laws and protect American jobs.

“Sen. Schumer and others have similarly put forward legislation that will build out our supply chains and ensure healthy competition and innovation, even as the Biden administration continues to address these issues on a number of fronts, including holding China to its trade promises.

“Twenty years ago, leaders like Speaker Pelosi predicted that China’s entry into the WTO would stifle the interests of both American workers and the Chinese people. As the CCP continues to rely on massive industrial subsidies, opaque laws, state-owned enterprises and even forced labor, her leadership and that of many of her colleagues will be sorely needed as we push to reframe our engagement with China so we can truly compete on a level playing field.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

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Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

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For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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