Pascrell Reaffirms Support for Chinese Communist Trade Cheating Crackdown
Bipartisan resolution will nullify Commerce directive to force trade consequences for China’s rule breaking in solar energy industry
Washington, DC, April 20, 2023
Tags: Energy & the Environment
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today reaffirmed his support for H.R. Res 39, a bipartisan resolution that would impose consequences on the Chinese Communist Party for its trade cheating in the critical solar sector.
“This bipartisan bill demonstrates how Congress has the ultimate say on our trade laws, supporting American workers, and stopping China’s cheating,” said Congressman Pascrell. “H. J. Res. 39. would empower the administration to crack down on specific Chinese companies circumventing solar tariffs. Today it is our solar industry. Tomorrow it could be steel, lumber, or agriculture that suffer. Congress cannot accept the attacks on our industries under any administration. We must act now.”
Rep. Pascrell is one of the leading critics in Congress of the Chinese Community Party and for decades has sounded the alarm of the offshoring of American jobs overseas. In 2000, Pascrell loudly opposed and voted against China’s admittance to the World Trade Organization, a catastrophic mistake that paved China’s rise.
Elements of Pascrell’s National Critical Capabilities Defense Act was included in the COMPETES Act passed by the House of Representatives last year to fix American supply chains and bring U.S. jobs and industry from countries like China back to America.
Pascrell is the sponsor of the bipartisan American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act to help end America’s over-reliance on personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies from China and other foreign nations.
Pascrell has been a leader in funding efforts to crack down on forced labor abuses. Pascrell has also pushed for tougher action to combat the Chinese Communist Party’s use of forced labor and the importation of products made with forced labor.
Because Congressman Pascrell was delayed and missed the markup vote of the resolution, he has inserted a broad statement of support into the official Congressional Record, the text of which is below.
April 20, 2023
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. Statement of Support for H.J. Res. 39
Cracking down on Chinese Communist Trade Cheating
I am submitting this statement for the record to express pleasure in joining my Democratic colleagues Representatives Dan Kildee and Terri Sewell in supporting H. J. Res. 39. Rampant trade cheating harms American workers, cons consumers, and sabotages small businesses across our nation. That is why the Ways and Means Committee is considering H. J. Res. 39.
Over one decade ago, we determined that some companies backed by the Chinese Communist Party were engaging in illegal trade practices. President Obama rightly applied tariffs on imports from those companies distorting the market and harming our domestic solar industry.
“Fair trade” cannot exist where one side plays by the rules and the other cheats and circumvents.
Last year the Commerce Department wisely heeded our calls. They opened a probe into the Chinese Communist Party’s corruption of the solar market. In December, our suspicions were basically confirmed. The Commerce Department preliminarily determined that four companies are breaking our trade laws. That cheating is what this resolution is about.
Our bipartisan bill demonstrates how Congress has the ultimate say on our trade laws, supporting American workers, and stopping China’s cheating.
Last Congress, we passed the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history. It provides over $180 billion for clean energy like solar. Let’s not cripple this industry right as it gets off the ground. Let us give it room and support to grow.
While we are trying to meet our domestic solar deployment goals, we must not undermine our labor and trade laws or lose sight of standing up for fundamental human rights. The Chinese Communist Party has used subsidies and incentives to wrap its tentacles around some of the polysilicon and solar-component industries in Asia. Tragically, these industries are highly dependent on mining and manufacturing in Xinjiang, a region that is largely reliant on Uyghur forced labor.
We cannot build a clean-energy future through dirty coal plants and on the backs of China’s genocidal forced-labor abuses. As the AFL-CIO said in October 2021, the “solar industry, and its entire value chain, should exemplify how the United States meets the climate, equity and economic challenges of the 21st century.” It’s a false choice to achieve our climate goals by abandoning our core American values.
H. J. Res. 39. would empower the administration to crack down on specific Chinese companies circumventing solar tariffs. This resolution will restore fairness to the marketplace.
Today it is our solar industry. Tomorrow it could be steel, lumber, or agriculture that suffer. Congress cannot accept the attacks on our industries under any administration. We must act now.
If I was present for the vote in the Ways and Means Committee on April 19, 2023, I would have supported passage of this resolution by voting yes.