Trade of­fi­cial urges ac­tion on China, Rus­sia ties

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

Congress is show­ing its un­hap­pi­ness with a fed­eral court rul­ing that re­stricted the gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to im­pose higher trade penal­ties on China when it sub­si­dizes ex­ports to the United States.

There’s a pro­posal to re­store the Com­merce Depart­ment’s power to take on China’s un­fair trade prac­tices. The leg­is­la­tion was in­tro­duced on the same day as the top U.S. trade of­fi­cial, Ron Kirk, asked Congress to act on the China is­sue and on trade re­la­tions with Rus­sia.

A fed­eral ap­peals court ruled last year that the Com­merce Depart­ment lacks the le­gal au­thor­ity to im­pose puni­tive trade mea­sures on sub­si­dized im­ports from coun­tries such as China and Viet­nam.

In 2009, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion im­posed a three-year tar­iff, start­ing at 35 per­cent, on U.S. im­ports of low­grade Chi­nese tires.

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