Senators demand Baucus hold China accountable for drywall

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) asked U.S. ambassador Max Baucus to pressure Chinese drywall manufacturers that are refusing to take responsibility for defective products.

Landrieu, who faces a tough reelection, led a bipartisan group of senators in calling on Baucus to ensure the companies are held accountable.

ADVERTISEMENT
“One company reached a global settlement, the other walked away — refusing to make no more appearances in court,” the senators wrote. “We hope you will take all possible steps to raise this violation of the Hague Convention and the failure of a Chinese state-owned entity to respect foreign court judgments with the highest levels of the Chinese government.”

During the housing boom and after Hurricane Katrina, homebuilders used Chinese drywall. 

Many of the homeowners have reported sulfur smells and corrosion and have filed lawsuits against the companies responsible. The courts determined two Chinese manufacturers were responsible for most of the problems, but one of the companies has not settled with complainants.

“While this case is critical to thousands of homeowners who are still waiting for a fair and just settlement, its overall implications are much broader,” the letter stated. “Put simply, it raises the question of whether the Chinese Government and Chinese companies will ever honor their legal and moral obligations under commercial contracts.”

Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) also signed the letter.