U.S. suppliers, unions protest Chinese parts imports

U.S. suppliers, unions protest Chinese parts imports
Bloomberg News | 2012/2/1

About 1.6 million U.S. jobs in the automotive parts industry are threatened by China’s illegal trade practices and federal action is needed to protect the recovery for carmakers, the Alliance for American Manufacturing said.

China’s violations of World Trade Organization rules already have cost more than 400,000 jobs since 2000, according to a report released today by the group. China has exported $62 billion in auto parts since 2001, increasing an auto-parts deficit with China by 850 percent, according to the group.

“It’s essential that federal action be taken to challenge these abuses before they completely undermine the job recovery underway in the U.S. auto industry,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance.

China will invest $1.5 trillion (9.5 trillion yuan) in “new energy” vehicles and parts in a drive for global leadership by 2030, according to research by law firm Stewart and Stewart cited by the alliance.

China’s manufacturers are targeting EV batteries, electric motors, electronic cooling systems and fuel cells, according to the report.

The alliance, which includes manufacturers and the United Steelworkers, is challenging China’s policies a day after U.S. companies said jobs would be threatened by additional tariffs on
Chinese solar-equipment imports.

U.S. manufacturers are stepping up their push for action against the Chinese prior to the Feb. 14 visit of Xi Jinping, China’s vice president, to Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama on bilateral and regional issues.

Obama complaints
Obama has brought trade complaints against China at a faster rate than his predecessor. He also has imposed duties on Chinese-made tires, which he said has created 1,000 U.S. jobs.

The U.S. Senate has voted to punish China for maintaining an undervalued currency, and Republican presidential candidates have pledged to label China a currency manipulator. Midwest U.S. states are most at risk of losing parts production jobs to Chinese imports, including 250,000 jobs in Michigan and 189,000 in Ohio, according to the alliance.

Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan were to join the alliance event in Washington, according to a statement.

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