September 24, 2012

Wyden, Merkley bills block taxpayer money from aiding foreign companies that violate trade rules

Washington, D.C. – Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced two bills to prevent taxpayer money from aiding foreign companies that benefit from illegal trade practices, including many Chinese-manufactured solar panels.

China is enabling solar panels and wind energy property to be sold in the U.S. at below market value due to the illegal subsidies provided by China's government,” Wyden said. “Taxpayer money should not be used to buy property that the Department of Commerce has determined is unfairly traded and which harms U.S. manufacturers.

“When countries like China give their companies illegal subsidies, they’re cheating and undercutting American companies and costing us jobs,” said Merkley. “Those Chinese companies shouldn’t be subsidized by the Chinese government and they certainly shouldn’t be getting subsidized by our taxpayers

The Investment Tax Credit Integrity Act (S. 3610) would prevent the investment tax credit for renewable energy projects from indirectly paying tariffs that are charged on foreign products that violate trade laws, known as antidumping and countervailing duty tariffs. The bill would ensure that companies do not use tax credits to offset these trade remedies.

The Buy Fairly Traded Goods Act of 2012 (S. 3611) would prevent the federal government from buying unfairly traded products that are subject to trade remedy tariffs. It also blocks the government from contracting to buy power generated from solar panels or wind technology subject to those tariffs. The bill includes an exception for national security reasons, and another exception to ensure it meets the terms of existing international treaties.