Capito, Cassidy seek to ensure non-market economy countries play fair in trade

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Nov. 19 introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent the circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties by non-market economy countries like China.

“This bipartisan legislation will provide the Commerce Department the flexibility it needs to hold bad actors accountable and ensure that our trade policies are followed and respected,” Sen. Capito said.

Sens. Cassidy and Capito are original cosponsors of the Play by the Rules Act, S. 2900, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), which would hold China accountable for ignoring trade rules and harming American workers and businesses, according to a one-page bill summary provided by Sen. Capito’s office.

“The United States can outcompete any country in the world if the rules are applied the same to both countries,” said Sen. Cassidy. “This has not been the case between the United States and China, and it has hurt the American worker. We can do better.”

U.S. anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) laws are designed to balance competition between trade partners and they allow U.S. customs officials to collect duties on foreign imported products that are sold below market value or produced with unfair government subsidies.

However, non-market economy countries are engaged in government-backed efforts to avoid paying the required duties by monitoring AD/CVD rules and then altering products to get around the rules, according to the summary.

“Fair trade rules and policies are needed to protect U.S. jobs and promote economic growth in our country,” Sen. Capito said. “Unfortunately, there are non-market economies that do not abide by free-market forces to set prices, which ultimately puts our country at a disadvantage. That’s why it’s important that we hold those countries accountable when this happens. Doing so will ensure we are putting American jobs and the American economy first.”

The bill has garnered support from the United Steelworkers, the Decorative Hardwood Association, and the Committee to Protect U.S. Trade Laws.