Cicilline Takes Stand for American Manufacturers

Mar 7, 2012 Issues:

WASHINGTON – Twice this week, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) worked to level the playing field in international trade for American companies.  Yesterday, legislation he cosponsored to fight cheating in trade was sent to President Obama’s desk, and just this morning he helped pass reforms to benefit American exporters during a markup session in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“Rhode Island industries are facing a stacked deck every time China or another non-market economy cheats in trade and tries to depress American exports,” said Cicilline.  “The Export Promotion Reform Act will strengthen our small business owners and give the State and Commerce Departments the power they need to effectively promote American-made products in other countries.”

The Export Promotion Reform Act, H.R. 4041, would increase the amount of American-made goods and services that are exported to other countries – helping to grow jobs in American exporting firms.  From 2003 to 2009, the United States’ market share of world merchandise trade slipped from 9.8% to 8.7% - moving from first to third in the world, behind China and Germany.  Advocates believe that H.R. 4041, which passed out of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs today, would help remedy this situation.

Today’s markup comes one day after the House passed H.R. 4105, legislation cosponsored by Cicilline to ensure that the United States Department of Commerce can continue applying countervailing duties on non-market economies such as China. A federal appeals court had recently ruled that the U.S. Department of Commerce lacked the legal authority to impose anti-subsidy duties on non-market economies.  Pending President Obama’s signature, this legislation ensures the Commerce Department possesses that authority to take action against roughly two dozen goods exported by non-market economies which offer subsidies that destroy American jobs. Cicilline’s work on H.R. 4105 has already earned praise from Rhode Island’s small business community.

“I applaud this vote, and I thank Congressman Cicilline for his co-sponsorship of this commonsense legislation,” said Al Lubrano, President of Materion Technical Materials of Lincoln, RI. “With so few remedies available, this is a necessary piece of legislation to help companies like mine compete on a level playing field.”
H.R. 4105 was introduced last week by Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), the Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Committee on Ways and Means.  It passed the House by a vote of 370-79 and now awaits further consideration in the Senate.