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Trade representative says policy must protect key industries

Trade representative says policy must protect key industries
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U.S. policy must work to protect key industries threatened by unfair global practices, Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China US, EU reach deal to end 17-year aircraft trade dispute MORE said in Wednesday testimony.

“If we don’t keep our eye on the ball, we will continue to experience these types of fights over the last scraps of an industry that we have lost to a competitor, and in particular to the Chinese,” Tai said at a Senate Appropriations commerce, justice and science subcommittee hearing.

Tai’s statement came in response to a question from Maryland Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Democrats face new pressure to raise taxes MORE (D) regarding the negative effects solar panel tariffs imposed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE had on the jobs of solar installers and other downstream employment.

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But Tai said that unfair foreign trade practices had led to a decimation of the industry, forcing most of the near-dozen solar panel manufacturers in the United States to close. Just one remains.

“This is actually a very sad story,” Tai said.

“We can see where this pattern will play out again and again if we are not ready to anticipate the loss of industries to anti-competitive practices and massive subsidies coming from our biggest competitors.”

She pointed to the steel industry as a prime example in which overcapacity from Chinese production has pushed prices down.

Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, however, led to retaliatory tariffs from close trade partners, and the increased price of steel had downstream effects for manufacturers who use steel in their products.

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But far from endorsing Trump’s tariff strategy, Tai said President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE's administration is working to balance protections for key industries against some of their worst ramifications, such as increased frictions with trade partners.

“My focus is to figure out how we improve, and the effectiveness of the tools we use in support of American steelmaking,” she said in response to a question on steel tariffs from Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunIU parents protest school's vaccine mandates Rick Scott introduces bill banning 'vaccine passports' for domestic flights Braun-McConnell bill would protect Americans from IRS surveillance MORE (R-Ind.).

Other manufactured products facing pressures from unfair Chinese trade practices that could require protection include cement and vitamin C.