/javascript" src="../static/js/analytics.js"> CalTrade Report - AFL-CIO Files China Labor Case with USTR AFL-CIO, China, CalTrade Report, U.S. Trade Representative, labor - AFL-CIO Files China Labor Case with USTR - First-time move by a trade organization against a US trading partner CalTrade Report Asia Quake Victims 03/17/04 – The petition alleges ''repression of workers'' and other labor abuses by China are at the heart of US manufacturing job losses; USTR will have 45 days to respond with Democrat-leaning trade organization threatening to make the case a major presidential campaign issue if the Administration doesn’t act in its favor. - 03/17/04 – The petition alleges ''repression of workers'' and other labor abuses by China are at the heart of US manufacturing job losses; USTR will have 45 days to respond with Democrat-leaning trade organization threatening to make the case a major presidential campaign issue if the Administration doesn’t act in its favor. - AFL-CIO Files China Labor Case with USTR AFL-CIO, China, CalTrade Report, U.S. Trade Representative, labor - AFL-CIO Files China Labor Case with USTR

 

August 28, 2005

 

Join The CalTrade Insiders E-mail List-It's Free!
Front Page
Page Two
PR Newswire
Profiles
Opinion
Trade Leads
Calendar
Mission
Editor
Press Releases
Partner Orgs
Advertise Opp.
Contact Us
Cal Links
Currency Calc
Int.Time Clock


Our Car

 

Front Page

E-mail PagePrint Version



AFL-CIO Files China Labor Case with USTR

First-time move by a trade organization against a US trading partner

WASHINGTON, DC - 03/17/04 - The AFL-CIO - the nation's largest labor organization - is filing a case with the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) alleging that China's "repression" of its workers violates US trade law.
 
The move by the group - which represents about 13 million workers in 64 trade unions - is the first time that an entity other than a company has sought punitive action against a US trading partner under the provisions of Section 301 of Trade Act of 1974.

Complaints usually arise from complaints by a firm or group of firms that believe foreign competitors are getting government subsidies or unusual tax breaks.
 
In 1988, Congress amended the trade laws to include labor standards as a basis for filing trade complaints. Until now, the provision has not been used.

The AFL-CIO's 105-page petition contends that the Chinese government's "persistent pattern of repressing labor rights" has created "a huge pool of cut-rate labor that has displaced as many as 1.2 million US jobs."

According to press reports, the AFL-CIO is asking the Administration to impose quotas or tariffs to raise the cost of Chinese-made goods.

The petition argues the tariffs "would pressure Beijing to comply with international labor laws" and asserts that "the scale and degree of government-engineered labor exploitation in China is such that it clearly distorts global labor markets. If not for China's repression of workers' rights, the extraordinary losses in US manufacturing jobs and wages would be significantly curtailed."

US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick will have 45 days to decide whether to take the case.

If he doesn't move on the petition, says Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO's assistant director for international economics, "We will make it a campaign issue."

The labor federation, which nearly always supports Democrats, has already publicly announced its support for Sen. John Kerry in this year's run for the White House against President Bush.
 
The White House refused to comment on the merits of the AFL-CIO petition, but Richard Mills, a spokesman for the USTR's office, said that the US has been "a leader in promoting internationally recognized labor standards and human rights globally, especially in those countries where those standards are not fully upheld."

Mills said that the administration was "committed to aggressively enforcing our trade laws to ensure that US companies can compete on a level playing field."

Over the past several months, the Administration has been pressuring China to halt its practice of linking the value of its currency - the yuan - to the US dollar.

US manufacturers say that this has allowed the yuan to be undervalued by as much as 40% against the dollar, giving Chinese goods a marked price advantage over American-made products.
 
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has said that the Fair Currency Alliance, a coalition of groups including NAM and the AFL-CIO, are working to prepare a Section 301 case on the currency issue, which it said should be "ready to file in the not too distant future."

Chinese officials, however, have resisted pressure by the administration to allow the yuan's value to be set by currency markets, saying that too much currency volatility could "destabilize" the country's fragile banking system.
 
 In Beijing, the Commerce Ministry refused comment on the either the AFL-CIO petition or the proposed Section 301 currency case.

Go back, or read the latest Front Page stories:

''Chuppies'' Want More High Quality US Products

ATLANTA, Georgia – 08/27/05 – China’s emerging middle class wants to see more high-quality American-made products on the country’s store shelves, according to a recent survey of high-income consumers in six major Chinese cities; the country’s so-called ''Chuppies'' are developing ''brand consciousness'' and ''a taste for foreign goods,'' and would like to spend more of their disposable income on US-made toiletries, apparel and fashion accessories, consumer electronics, videos, DVDs, and durable goods, the survey said.


Canada Waves a ''Big Stick'' at the US

OTTAWA, Canada – 08/25/05 – A trade war between the US and Canada may be in the offing as Ottawa is seriously considering slapping punitive tariffs on a number of selected US-made products in retaliation for Washington’s failure to act on a NAFTA panel ruling that US tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports are illegal; imposition of the tariffs could seriously impact a flow of north-south, cross-border trade that generates more than $1 billion in business every day and, conceivably, hike the cost of a bottle of imported California wine to more than $100 a bottle.


US ''Craps Out'' on Internet Gambling Prohibition

GENEVA, Switzerland – 08/24/05 – The World Trade Organization has given Washington until April 2006 to comply with a ruling that found US restrictions on Internet gambling are in violation of global trade law; the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda had charged in its original March 2003 complaint that the US prohibitions were harming its online gaming business, which is aimed at reducing the island's economic dependence on tourism.



 



 


Web Design &
Development By:
 

Web Design & Development by Turn-It-Digital in Los Angeles