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Tiberi Submits Testimony to USITC to Protect Ohio Whirlpool Manufacturing Jobs

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Washington, December 7, 2016 | Olivia Hnat | comments
Key Quote: “No U.S. manufacturer should be expected to reduce its prices to below-cost levels in order to compete with foreign production. This is why we need to strictly enforce our trade laws. Recently, Congress passed trade legislation designed to strengthen the U.S. government’s enforcement and administration of the trade laws. The Commission and the Commerce Department must use the tools available to enforce free and fair trade that rewards domestic investment.”

Today, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is holding a public hearing related to their investigation into whether China is illegally importing washers into the United States. Congressman Pat Tiberi submitted the following testimony to the USITC on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers who are being hurt by China’s unfair trade practices, and to ensure the administration strictly enforces our trade laws:

“Chairman Williamson, Vice-Chairman Johanson and members of the Commission, I want to thank you in advance for the opportunity to comment on the case before the Commission today.  

“Today’s hearing is critical to my home state of Ohio where Whirlpool operates its washers facility in Clyde. The Clyde factory is a crown jewel of American manufacturing. It is a highly efficient plant producing a great product and employing outstanding workers.

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit Whirlpool facilities and meet with Whirlpool employees. During my visit, I was struck by the passion of the workforce to innovate and produce outstanding products. I was reminded of my father, who was a member of the United Steelworkers union for 25 years, and who, like his co-workers, took pride in what he did. 

“Whirlpool is a model corporate citizen –– it has made its home in the United States producing great products under iconic American brands. Although it is important to note that this case is not just about Whirlpool, but also about Whirlpool’s supply chain, many of which are family-owned and operated companies in small communities throughout the Midwest. 

“What Whirlpool is asking for is the opportunity to compete against fairly traded imports. When you’re stuck competing against unfairly traded imports, decisions to reinvest in the plant and your people become more and more difficult. Losses pile up and soon plants close.

“When foreign manufacturers willfully skirt regulation, they stifle innovation, investment, and choice for consumers. Samsung and LG are repeat offenders of U.S. trade laws. Whirlpool has had to come before you twice to force these competitors to sell at fair prices in the United States.

“No U.S. manufacturer should be expected to reduce its prices to below-cost levels in order to compete with foreign production. This is why we need to strictly enforce our trade laws. Recently, Congress passed trade legislation designed to strengthen the U.S. government’s enforcement and administration of the trade laws. The Commission and the Commerce Department must use the tools available to enforce free and fair trade that rewards domestic investment.  

“As we have seen over the last year, trade is on the minds of most Americans. 2017 will be an important time for Congress to enhance trade enforcement provisions to create a favorable environment for U.S. companies to compete and create new opportunities for American workers. 

“At this time, the stakes could not be higher. 

“I have full confidence that this Commission will fairly evaluate the facts and I thank you for considering my views on this matter.”

Note: On February 24, 2016, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act was signed into law to update our nation’s customs laws, ensure the administration has the tools it needs to stop foreign competitors from cheating and level the playing field for American workers. Key provisions of this legislation were introduced by Congressman Pat Tiberi, who served as the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman last year. 
 
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