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Steelworkers Condemn WTO Decision as Another Direct Attack on American Manufacturing

MAR 11, 2016

Contact: Roy Houseman 202-778-3312,

Pittsburgh (March 11) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel released a decision regarding tariffs imposed by the United States against Korea for illegally dumping and subsidizing the sale of residential washing machines in the United States at sub-market prices.

The WTO ruled that the implementation of U.S. law in this case was not compliant with WTO obligations. The original case against Korea’s illegal and unfair trade practices was brought by the Whirlpool Corp. on in December of 2011.

The tariffs were imposed after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) unanimously determined in early 2013 that Korea was injuring U.S. producers and workers by illegally subsidizing and dumping these products.

“This is another example of how the WTO has repeatedly sought to limit, contrary to the explicit rules of the WTO itself, what the members themselves negotiated and limit the effectiveness of U.S. trade law.

“It’s unacceptable, and the United States should immediately file an appeal. We hope the result of that appeal will overturn the areas of the WTO decision that impede America’s ability to counteract foreign unfair trade practices and secure American manufacturing and jobs.

“The WTO is increasingly irrelevant to solving the real problems that exist. The U.S. manufacturing sector and its workers are being decimated by foreign trade violations including currency manipulation, dumping, improper subsidies and rising overcapacity in steel and other sectors. Yet, the WTO has either sat on its hands as these predatory and protectionist practices cost millions of workers their jobs or, like with today’s decision, actually made matters worse.

“The WTO’s record of overreaching its authority is well documented. An appeal should reverse this decision. If not, the United States should seriously review whether the WTO has outlived its usefulness.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information:

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