WATCH: Lawmakers urge Trump to take firm line with China on steel

Lawmakers from both parties are calling on President Trump to take a firm line on Chinese steel as Trump embarks on his first trip to Asia as president.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"Taking a tough stance on China is something the president has to do," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told The Hill.
 
"The bottom line is we don't want unfair advantage, we we just want a level playing field," added Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.).
 
Ryan and Katko, who both represent steel communities, say China's trading practices hurt their districts and the steel industry across the country. Both warn of the affects on American workers should Trump fail to address the issue with China.
 
China has come under scrutiny for a trading strategy that entails subsidizing its steel sector, allowing it to set excessively low prices and outpace its competitors.
 
According to a report from the International Trade Administration released this year, the volume of China's steel exports in 2016 more than doubled those of Japan's, the world's second largest exporter.
 
"It’s going to continue to hurt the profits of the steel companies, it's going continue to put steel workers out of work," Ryan said of China's practices. "The president also needs to to streamline the process in order for us to prosecute some of these cases to be able to put tariffs on."
 
"If they're dumping product on our market that's price supported by government price supports, that's unfair competition and unfair trading," Katko said. "It should absolutely be discussed."
 
Both lawmakers noted that Trump would also have to discuss the increasing threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs in his talks with Chinese leaders – an area where Washington has called on Beijing to play a bigger role – but argued the issues could be dealt with separately.