By Vicki Needham - 03/16/12 06:51 PM EDT
The lawmakers praised the administration's creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to promote a more coordinated effort, which they say will provide the United States additional resources to examine China's and other nations' trade violations.
"Addressing Chinese predatory policies in auto parts should be one of the enforcement center’s first and highest priorities," they wrote.
The lawmakers argue that 75 percent of jobs in the automotive sector are in auto parts and that, as noted in a January report, about 1.6 million U.S. jobs could be at risk if China’s practices are not curtailed.
"China has virtually closed its market to our auto-parts exports and continues to take actions to further limit access," they wrote.
"Given its importance, the administration’s vigilance in addressing China’s harmful policies now, while we can still change this one-way street in trade, is essential."
Earlier this week, the administration, along with the European Union and Japan, filed a case with the World Trade Organization on China's tightening export restrictions on rare-earth minerals used in high-tech products.
The lawmakers argue that several reports reflect China's efforts to shift trade advantages to its producers, such as limiting our exports to their market and subsidizing their exports to the United States.
"These tactics are working," the lawmakers wrote.
"Chinese auto-parts exports are rapidly growing and have increased almost 900 percent since 2000," they said.
As a result, China's policies are severing the traditional link between auto assemblers, parts producers and aftermarket producers. They argue that China is signaling that it plans to continue the policies.
"We cannot wait until further damage is done," they said.
"To level the playing field for U.S manufacturers and their workers, we must develop and implement a much more assertive and comprehensive strategy."