Business Roundtable on Tuesday joined Farmers for Free Trade in co-hosting a conversation on trade and American competitiveness. The event offered key insights from leaders in business and government on the need for a strategic, long-term approach — rather than unilaterally imposed U.S. tariffs — to address trade barriers in China for America’s businesses and workers.
In his keynote remarks, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch(R-UT) highlighted the problem of Chinese overcapacity in steel and aluminum, theft of U.S. intellectual property rights, and forced transfer of U.S. technologies. Hatch stressed the importance of addressing such issues in a targeted manner that does not harm U.S. businesses and consumers:
“To be clear, no one should doubt that Chinese steel and aluminum overcapacity has harmed U.S. companies and workers. But, to put it bluntly, the global tariffs set to take effect on Friday will do absolutely nothing to address that problem. Chinese companies don’t pay U.S. tariffs. Rather, American companies and American consumers get the bill.”
“Targeted deployment of Section 301 investigations also can be used to bring China to the table to resolve long-standing issues…. [L]et me emphasize that any actions that the administration intends to take under Section 301, whether aimed at China or elsewhere, must be narrowly targeted at the source of the problem and with an objective to bring about a positive resolution — and not for the purpose of erecting trade barriers.