Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5326) to increase by $5 million the minimum level of funding that the International Trade Administration (ITA) must devote to crack down on unfair Chinese trade practices. The amendment was adopted by voice vote today and included in the full bill which awaits approval by the full House.

“We must ensure that U.S. manufacturers and workers can compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace.  Unfortunately, unfair trade practices from countries like China make this increasingly difficult. These practices have hurt businesses like Ohio paper producer, Appleton, and their employees by unfairly subsidizing imports of thermal coated paper from China and Indonesia,” said Turner.

Since 2000, there has been a 300 percent increase in the amount of goods imported from China to the United States. Moreover, the ITA, tasked with cracking down on unfair trade practices, has for years experienced a growing workload of cases involving trade with China. For the last several years, Congress has directed the ITA to devote the same minimum level of funding, $11.4 million, for China antidumping and countervailing duty enforcement and compliance activities. 

“Given the rise in Chinese imports and the increasing complexity of cases the ITA must evaluate, we must ensure that efforts to protect U.S. manufacturers and employees from unfair trade practices receive sufficient dedicated funding,”

Turner’s amendment increases the minimum amount that the ITA must use for these activities by $5 million, from $11.4 million to $16.4 million, using existing resources provided under the bill. The amendment is revenue neutral and no spending offset is required. The amendment simply adjusts how much of the total budget allocated to the ITA must be spent on enforcement. The ITA currently has a budget of $468 million.