On the Roots of Marriage

Andy Leonatt
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Andy Leonatt
Feb. 12, 2014, 12:20 p.m.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ceived praise from Con­gress on Wed­nes­day for fil­ing two cases against China in the World Trade Or­gan­iz­a­tion, as Treas­ury Sec­ret­ary Geithner pre­pares to take heat from two com­mit­tees today over ac­tions on Chinese cur­rency.

The U.S. Trade Rep­res­ent­at­ive’s of­fice an­nounced Wed­nes­day it was seek­ing dis­pute set­tle­ment con­sulta­tion, the pre­curs­or to the WTO form­ing a dis­pute set­tle­ment pan­el, with China over an­ti­dump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing du­ties on U.S. ex­ports of grain-ori­ented flat-rolled elec­tric­al steel and dis­crim­in­a­tion against U.S. sup­pli­ers of elec­tron­ic pay­ment ser­vices.

“We are con­cerned that China is break­ing its trade com­mit­ments to the United States and oth­er WTO part­ners, both by fa­vor­ing its one state-owned fin­an­cial ser­vices firm to the ex­clu­sion of Amer­ic­an cred­it and deb­it card com­pan­ies and by ma­nip­u­lat­ing trade-rem­edy in­vest­ig­a­tions to un­fairly re­strict ex­ports of Amer­ic­an steel,” Trade Rep­res­ent­at­ive Kirk said in a state­ment.

The move drew bi­par­tis­an praise from con­gres­sion­al trade lead­ers who have been highly crit­ic­al of the ad­min­is­tra­tion de­clin­ing to la­bel China a cur­rency ma­nip­u­lat­or. Geithner will ap­pear be­fore the Sen­ate Bank­ing and House Ways and Means com­mit­tees today on the sub­ject.

“We can’t stand by while China ab­uses its … trade laws for pro­tec­tion­ist pur­poses,” said Sen­ate Fin­ance rank­ing mem­ber Chuck Grass­ley. “The ad­min­is­tra­tion should go one step fur­ther and bring a case against China’s un­fair cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tion at the WTO.”

Sen­ate Fin­ance Chair­man Max Baucus said the com­plaints are “crit­ic­al steps for­ward in our ef­fort to en­force our mar­ket ac­cess rights in China.”

The first com­plaint al­leges China un­fairly im­posed du­ties on the spe­cial­ized steel product used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of trans­formers and re­act­ors. A Chinese in­vest­ig­a­tion found the United States dumped the products in Chinese mar­kets at less than fair mar­ket value, which the US­TR’s of­fice al­leges was a biased in­vest­ig­a­tion that lacked evid­ence.

The second com­plaint al­leges the People’s Bank of China al­lowed the do­mest­ic com­pany China Uni­on Pay to have what Kirk termed “a mono­poly over most cred­it and deb­it card trans­ac­tions,” a mar­ket it had com­mit­ted to open­ing four years ago.

Chinese trade has be­come a part of the do­mest­ic man­u­fac­tur­ing agenda House Demo­crats are pro­mot­ing as part of an ef­fort to high­light job cre­ation bills.

“The Ad­min­is­tra­tion must con­tin­ue to re­double its ef­fort to ad­dress the range of Chinese prac­tices which dis­ad­vant­age and harm U.S. work­ers, farm­ers and busi­nesses, that dis­tort trade and in­vest­ment flows, and which ul­ti­mately sup­press U.S. growth and job cre­ation,” Ways and Means Chair­man Sander Lev­in said in a state­ment.

What We're Following See More »
AT HEART OF FEDERAL RACKETEERING LAWSUIT
A.T.F. Agents Filled Secret Coffers
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives " used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account," according to a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by a group of tobacco farmers who claim they were "swindled out of $24 million." The agents allegedly used shipments of snack food disguised as tobacco. The Justice Department is reportedly investigating the matter, though as of now it is unclear how widespread the practice was or if it is still ongoing.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Many Signatures Has the Petition for Trump’s Tax Returns Received?
1 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 1 million, setting a record. More than 100,000 signatures triggers an official White House response.

Source:
TIED TO RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
Sen. Collins Open to Subpoena of Trump’s Tax Returns
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."

Source:
NPR ALSO LAUNCHES ETHICS WATCH
Obama Staffers Launch Group to Monitor Trump Ethics
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months." Meanwhile, NPR has launched a "Trump Ethics Monitor" to track the resolution of ten ethics-related promises that the president has made.

Source:
DOESN’T WISH TO JOIN TRUMP
Christie Turned Down Labor Secretary
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Over a meatloaf lunch at the White House last week, Donald Trump offered the job of Labor secretary to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a longtime loyalist. Christie promptly turned down the offer, once again signaling that he has no desire to move to Washington, D.C. to join the Trump administration. The job ended up going to Alexander Acosta, who is expected to sail through the Senate confirmation process.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login