June 23,2009

Press Contact:

Dan Virkstis (202) 224-4515

Baucus Welcomes WTO Consultations to Resolve China Export Policy

U.S. action in WTO targets illegal trade restrictions

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today welcomed an announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the United States has requested formal dispute settlement consultations with China in the World Trade Organization (WTO). China’s illegal use of export restrictions on certain commodities triggered the consultations request.

“American workers play fair and follow the rules, and they expect our trading partners to do the same,” Baucus said. “China’s export restrictions violate WTO rules, and Ambassador Kirk and his team have called on China to bring its policies in line or face the consequences. I commend USTR on this action, and I will be watching this process closely.”

The United States requested dispute settlement consultations together with the 27-nation European Union. Consultations are the first stage of the WTO dispute settlement process, and must continue for a minimum of 60 days. If consultations fail to resolve the matter, the United States may request adjudication by a WTO panel.