WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressmen Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, spoke out today about charges filed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, against five Chinese military officers connected with economic espionage of American manufacturers.
The charges come just two days after Enyart and Davis headlined the Save Our Steel Jobs rally in Granite City. The rally was designed to bring attention to poorly enforced trade laws and unfair economic practices of foreign countries in the American steel industry.
“This is just another example of the egregious actions we’re fighting against,” said Enyart. “Today’s charges show that these companies are able to undercut American workers because of outrageous, illegal spying and hacking practices. It affects workers right here in Southern Illinois, especially Granite City, and we will not stand for a direct attack on U.S. Steel.”
“Today’s news shows exactly why we’ve been fighting and have to continue to fight to keep steel jobs in Illinois,” said Davis. “When other countries fail to play by the rules, companies are placed at a huge disadvantage, which means American workers and the hardworking families of this area lose. This is an issue where Republicans and Democrats must come together to offer real, concrete solutions to put an end these unfair and illegal practices.”
The charges claim the Chinese military officers conspired to steal proprietary trade information from various U.S. companies and organizations, including U.S. Steel and United Steel Workers. U.S. Steel employs over 2,000 people at its Granite City facility. Steel worker and industry jobs are at risk not only by espionage practices like those revealed today, but also by unfair trade practices.
From 2010 to 2012, foreign steel pipe imports increased 113%, with most imports coming from South Korea. The imports include low quality, underpriced products sold to companies at rates far below fair industry standards. American manufacturers are unable to properly compete for business when countries are able to bypass U.S. trade enforcement laws.
Enyart and Davis are working together to fight illegal and unfair trade imports from foreign countries.