The United States needs new trade law tools to head off anticompetitive threats from China against key American high-technology industries, rather than reacting once harm is done, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday.
Tai told a US House Ways and Means Committee hearing that existing trade law tools are more aimed at protecting US industries and companies after they have already been injured by illegal price dumping and subsidies or other unfair competition.
“I would really like to strengthen the trade tools that we have to address the problems we have today,” Tai said, adding that many of the US trade laws are nearly 50 or 60 years old.
US trade laws, with their backward-looking nature, have struggled to prevent damage to the US steel industry as China has built up massive amounts of production capacity over the past 20 years, Tai said, adding that China’s industrial plans show it is poised to do the same in other industries.
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