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Chinese Glass Is Adding to Trade in New World Trade Center

Post Time:Oct 10,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:278

The new World Trade Center, now under construction, is often considered a symbol of American enterprise. But to some union members and U.S. businesses, it represents what's wrong with the nation's economy.

The contract to manufacture the blast-resistant glass wrapping the main tower's first 20 stories was awarded earlier this year to a Chinese firm that underbid U.S. competitors.

Now the trade tensions between the United States and China that have arisen recently over tires, steel and paper are spreading to glass.

"This new tower is going to be made out of subsidized Chinese glass, putting factory workers out of their jobs in America," said Scott Paul, director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a partnership of the United Steelworkers and some manufacturers.

On Thursday, the Alliance sent a letter to U.S. trade officials asking that they address what they see as unfair trade practices. Specifically, the group says that the Chinese government spends billions of dollars subsidizing the glass industry's energy costs.

"Our domestic glass industry is the most efficient in the world, but it cannot compete against production that is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government," according to the letter. "As a result, glass production in the U.S. has suffered in recent years, with plant closings and thousands of lost jobs throughout the country."

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are slated for trade meetings in Hangzhou, China, later this month.

A Chinese spokesman on trade issues did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: GlassInChinaAuthor: shangyi

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