A U.S. bipartisan bill seeks to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its unfair trade practices, according to Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who co-sponsored the legislation with Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.).
The bill aims “to stop [China] from dumping counterfeit products dumping, flooding the market with steel,” as well as doing so “through their proxy countries” when confronted about it, Johnson told NTD’s “Capitol Report” program. NTD is an affiliate of The Epoch Times.
“Level the Playing Field Act 2.0,” introduced on Dec. 2, also seeks to address cross-border subsidization. “A lot of countries like China … subsidize their manufacturing industries to give … companies in their country the ability to lower their prices to a point where American companies cannot compete,” said Johnson.
The congressman mentioned the case of a manufacturing company from Marietta, Ohio. He said the small firm had been affected by China’s dumping of flexible magnets into America—namely, selling these goods at less than fair value—at a cost that wasn’t enough for the company to buy the raw materials necessary to make them.
The company, Magnum Magnetics Corp, filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which determined that China and Taiwan’s dumping of raw flexible magnets dumping was threatening the American industry. As a result, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration in September 2008 slapped anti-dumping duties on flexible magnets coming from China and Taiwan.
Yet, according to Johnson, China managed to circumvent the order, using Vietnam as a proxy to dump the same product into the American market. “The same product started flooding into the United States undercutting that … small company, and they were right back at fighting that again,” he said.
Rep. Johnson went on to say that China must understand that it should act sensibly as part of the “community of nations,” or face serious consequences.
The congressman argued that because of the CCP’s suppression of freedom, China lacks “the culture that breeds innovation and ingenuity,” and thus relies on stealing know-how and technology from the United States and other Western nations.
According to Johnson, this makes the Chinese “one generation away from extinction,” a fact that Western countries should use to their advantage, by setting clear rules when dealing with China. The diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, by the United States, the UK, and other nations, helped send that message to the CCP, he said.
When asked about U.S. corporations’ dealings with China, Johnson said that some American companies exporting steel, technology and investments to China, are “oblivious of the Chinese threat”.
“They don’t understand that the technologies, even low-end technologies … can be built upon and used in military and intelligence gathering, particularly information technology,“ Johnson said.
“They’re so concerned about the bottom line in their financial balance sheet, that they’re willing to overlook what the Chinese are doing, and they don’t understand the existential risk that the Chinese pose right now to the free world,” he added.
The GOP lawmaker further mentioned that while the Trump administration had “made some progress” by addressing the CCP’s threat on the trade front, he is concerned that the Biden administration might take “its eye off the ball.”
Yet, Johnson believes this is a cause that might band both parties together.
“I believe the issue of China, the trade imbalance, the provocative actions of the Chinese government, is certainly something that will unite Republicans and Democrats,” he said.