WASHINGTON: The US Trade Representative said on Tuesday (Nov 2) she supported updating US trade laws to combat circumvention of existing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, including tools aimed at subsidised Chinese investment in steel production elsewhere in southeast Asia.
Katherine Tai made the remarks in Washington to US steel industry executives, who gave her a standing ovation after reaching a new metals quota deal with the European Union that ends a longstanding tariff dispute.
"We just need more tools and they need to fit the purpose. Because the tools that we have, we know how they can be effective and we know where the limitations are," Tai said, adding that she wanted to create a new level playing field.
Asked whether such tools could be used to deal with China's subsidisation of plants in other countries through its Belt and Road initiative that are not currently subject to punitive US tariffs, Tai replied: "Yes".
Tai said the US-EU steel trade agreement will help address excess metals capacity from China by preventing "leakage" of Chinese steel and aluminium into the US market.
"The US and the EU will analyse the volume of steel and aluminium imports from the EU each year, share information and best practices on trade remedies, and ensure that products from non-market economies do not benefit from the arrangement," Tai said.