China Takes Further Steps To Boost Strategic Emerging Industries
As reported in the January 2011 Issue of the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, in October 2010, China unveiled its determination to develop seven strategic emerging industries in the State Council’s Decision to Accelerate the Development of Strategic Emerging Industries. The seven “strategic emerging industries” are (1) energy-saving and environment protection, (2) new-generation information technology, (3) biology, (4) high-end equipment manufacturing, (5) new energy, (6) new materials, and (7) new-energy cars. Recently, China made an important step to further the 2010 Decision. The State Council approved the 12th Five-Year National Development Plan of Strategic Emerging Industries (the “12th Five-Year National Plan”) at a standing meeting held on May 30, which is a detailed national plan designed to implement the supporting policies for the development of the seven industries over the 12th Five-Year period, i.e., 2011 to 2015. Chinese companies in the strategic emerging industries can expect significant subsidies from both the central government and local governments during the 12th Five-Year period. As reported, the central government has set up a 7.5 billion RMB investment fund this year for the strategic emerging industries. More »
China Requests Consultation On 22 U.S. Countervailing Duty Orders
On May 25, 2012. China requested consultations at the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) relating to 22 countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigations conducted by the United States. The challenged CVD cases are the investigations that were initiated by the United States other than the four already subject to WTO dispute settlement in United States - Definitive Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Products from China (DS379). The products at issue in these investigations cover numerous industries, including paper, steel, and solar cells. More »
Benefits Of Fracking On U.S. Manufacturing
The United States became the world’s largest producer of natural gas in 2011, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2012. Natural gas production in the United States grew by 7.7 percent between 2010 and 2011, the largest volumetric increase in the world. Much of this production growth can be attributed to hydraulic fracturing, which has allowed the United States to tap natural gas reserves in shale deposits that previously were unavailable. Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in layers of rock. The fractures release natural gas, petroleum, or other substances into wells built to capture it. As of 2009, Pennsylvania had the most active wells in the country, but natural gas has also been produced through fracking in North Dakota, Arkansas, Texas, California, Colorado, Ohio, West Virginia, and New Mexico. More »
China Retaliates Against U.S. Renewable Energy Products
T. Augustine Lo
On May 24, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) announced its preliminary determination finding U.S. subsidization of its green energy products in violation of WTO agreements. MOFCOM’s decision closely followed a decision by Commerce issued on May 17, which found that China subsidizes its solar panel manufacturers, and which consequently imposed preliminary tariff rates at approximately 31 percent on imported solar panels from 61 Chinese companies. For all other Chinese producers and exporters of solar panels, Commerce imposed a preliminary tariff rate of 249.96 percent. More »
Numerous Import-Related Investigations Proceed At U.S. Trade Agencies
Recent decisions by Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) have moved forward several investigations of allegedly unfairly traded imports. More »
- Export Promotion Bill Passes In The House Of Representatives – Shannon Doyle – On May 30, 2012, the House of Representatives passed a new export promotion bill (H.R. 4041) to revise the Export Enhancement Act of 1988. The new bill would expand the authority of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (“TPCC”), an interagency task force that develops U.S. trade promotion policies and facilitates coordination among government agencies. More »
Election observers searching for policy differences on international trade-related issues between President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney need look no further than currency manipulation by China.
During the Obama presidency, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has declined to identify China as a currency manipulator in its semi-annual report to Congress on international economic and exchange rate policies, despite a finding in the most recent report that China’s exchange rate “exhibited persistent and substantial undervaluation” over the past decade. In addition, Commerce has declined to initiate investigations of currency undervaluation in China CVD investigations, which has precluded U.S. manufacturers from seeking import relief through the imposition of countervailing duties on imports on that basis.
In contrast, Mitt Romney vows to take a tougher stance on China currency issues. For example, Mr. Romney has stated that he will issue an executive order on his first day in office that identifies China as a currency manipulator. Mr. Romney has also stated that, as president, he would permit the application of the countervailing duty law to currency undervaluation by China. Mr. Romney has taken these positions despite opposition by senior Republican officials in Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner.
This policy difference presents an interesting backdrop to the 2012 presidential campaign in both “Red” and “Blue” states that continue to face job losses and plant closures due to the U.S.-China trade relationship.
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