Steelworkers union supports tariff on washing machines, solar cells

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 201 views 

The United Steelworkers (USW) voiced its approval of a recent decision to provide relief to U.S. manufacturers of residential washing machines as well as solar cells and modules.

USW International President Leo Gerard called the decision of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) “important to the workers not only in those sectors, but those who are part of the supply chain.”

“The USW provides the steel, aluminum, rubber and other materials used in washing machines and makes silicon and other products utilized in solar cell and module production,” Gerard explained. “For far too long, our trading partners have gamed the system, making repeated predatory attacks on the U.S. market, expecting that they will get away with it. The USW has fought back by utilizing trade laws, but it’s been a never-ending fight.”

Gerard said the goal of the USW is to “have our government stand up and implement a consistent, comprehensive trade policy that makes clear that if a trading partner breaks the law, or tries to cheat and steal our jobs, there will be an immediate response. The announced action is a step forward in drawing a line in the sand that unfair trade will not be allowed.” However, it’s “far from enough.”

Gerard continued: “Sitting on the president’s desk are reports on the impact of imports of steel and aluminum on our national security interests.   It’s time to act on those sectors as well.”

Last summer investigations were initiated under Section 201 of U.S. trade law to determine whether increased imports of these products were a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic producers. These investigations were requested by the industry.

The USTR announced that relief would be imposed in a manner to “facilitate a positive adjustment to import competition and provide greater economic and social benefits than costs.”