“These findings are especially important at a time when the United States is vigorously implementing W.T.O.-consistent tools to address China’s unfair trade practices and to address global imbalances,” said Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan, one of the most outspoken House members on China’s decision to hold down the value of its currency, the renminbi. “We should not let the possibility of meritless allegations of W.T.O. inconsistency prevent us from standing up for U.S. workers and businesses.”And here's Levin and other members of Congress a few years ago when the WTO's Appellate Body ruled against the United States' use of "zeroing" in antidumping investigations and annual reviews - a practice, by the way, that the US courts had repeatedly held to be legal under US law:
Unsurprisingly, the [Appellate Body] report did not receive a favourable reception in some sections of the US. Sander Levin, a senior Congressional Democrat from Michigan, said that the Appellate Body was overstepping its mandate, "changing the rules in the middle of the game." He added that "the Appellate Body is required to apply obligations that the United States and other WTO Members have negotiated - not create obligations out of thin air."So to recap:
Even before this latest ruling the issue had been making waves in Washington. On 11 December 2006, 11 House representatives submitted a letter to Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and US Trade Representative Susan Schwab. In it, they expressed concern that the WTO was overreaching on US trade remedy laws, with regard to zeroing in particular. They noted that implementing the Appellate Body rulings on ‘zeroing’ would "result in a dramatic weakening of the antidumping laws." The lawmakers urged the Bush administration officials to be "steadfast in this continuing assault on our ability to effectively address unfair trade imports," to "vigorously defend the rights of the US" and to "work to persuade the Appellate Body to do the right thing".
- 2007 Congress (zeroing): "The WTO is awful; the US courts are great!"
- 2010 Congress (China/CVD): "The US courts are awful; the WTO is great!"
Of course they are, guys. Of course they are.