At a hearing at the U.S. International Trade Commission, Congressman Bruce Poliquin strongly implored the Nation’s top trade officials to condemn illegal Chinese subsidies and trade practices that are hurting Maine wood products jobs and to level the playing field for American producers.
Congressman Poliquin joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers Thursday to testify at the International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing focused on allegations of hardwood dumping by Chinese companies that adversely impact American competitors from Maine and elsewhere across our Nation.
Congressman Poliquin testifies before the ITC, imploring the federal trade officials to condemn unfair trade from Chinese competitors and to protect Maine jobs.
Congressman Poliquin released the following statement:
“I grew up in Central Maine, the heart of our State, and I can remember the paper mills, the textile mills, the wool mills, the shoe factories, the tanneries and all the other industries that dotted the landscape and where everyone I knew worked and made a living, including my own grandmother as a seamstress at Hathaway Shirts,” said Congressman Poliquin. “Our neighborhoods were filled with kids. Our schools were full. Our churches were full. We took care of each other and helped our neighbors when they needed it.
“Unfortunately, much of those mills and jobs are gone now. Over the years, policies were implemented that have caused energy prices in Maine to rise and have caused our economy to suffer in the past few decades. However, there has been one thing that has been absolutely devastating to jobs in our State: unfair trade.
“Mainers are the hardest working people in the world and can compete and win against anyone, but the rules have to be fair. For too long, Mainers have borne the brunt of unfair and illegal trade practices from foreign competition. In particular, Chinese manufacturers, backed by the Chinese government, have had an unfair advantage over our wood products industry, not playing by the rules.
“It is crystal clear: in Maine we have been devastated by unfair trade. I will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure Mainers can compete on a level playing field and to protect and grow jobs in our State.”