U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who leads Republicans on the U.S. House Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee, has brought out a bill to hold China accountable on trade issues.
At the end of last week, Yoho introduced the “Enforcing Accountability and Transparency in International Trade Act.” The congressman’s office offered some of the rationales behind the proposal.
“This legislation will require the United States Trade Representative to submit a report on plans to facilitate the full implementation of agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It will also prevent high-income nations, like the People’s Republic of China, from continuing to qualify under certain conditions from seeking developing nations status under trade agreements to receive “special and differential” treatment,” Yoho’s office noted.
Yoho weighed in on the bill on Friday.
“China is the second-largest economy in the world, and it is projected to grow to $20 trillion by 2024. Yet, China continues to take advantage of international financial institutions, particularly in the WTO where it has identified and hides as a developing nation,” Yoho said. “China has repeatedly abused WTO rules by deploying illegal export restraints (e.g. quotas, licensing, minimum prices, duties, and other restrictions) on an array of products and raw material inputs (RMI). These restraints are aimed at benefiting Chinese producers exclusively and at the expense of foreign producers. At the same time, China continues to engage in corporate espionage and forced technology transfer, creating a hostile and unfair business environment for all kinds of foreign investment.
“For too long the United States, and the world, has turned a blind eye to much of China’s unfair practices in business and trade, and it has been the American producer and consumer who has paid the price. It’s time the United States and the global community assert their rights under WTO rules to hold China accountable for its behavior on the world stage and ensure a level playing field for all,” Yoho added.
Yoho’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee at the end of last week. Yoho has reeled in seven cosponsors including U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
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