It's on us. Share your news here.

Biden admin probes China’s shipbuilding thanks to union workers, Wisconsin senator

A steelworker works on a project at Fincantieri in Green Bay.

Posted on April 24, 2024

Monday afternoon, along the Fox River at Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the nation, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, joined the United Steelworkers to say they’ve had enough of China monopolizing the shipbuilding industry.

“Shipbuilding and shipyards are essential not only to our economy but also to our identity and the fabric of our state. not to mention that we’re good at it,” she said.

“The Chinese Communist Party has been relentless in their efforts to use commercial shipbuilding to dominate the full spectrum of global trade, choking out all competitors. It’s time for us to fight back,” said Denny Lauer, local president of the United Steelworkers union.

“For years, China has gotten away with tilting the playing field and it is American workers and our national security that are paying the price,” Baldwin added.

A petition filed by the union workers, along with a push from Baldwin, has led the Biden administration to launch an investigation to look into China’s unfair tactics — tactics they say could involve things such as forced and child labor, writing off energy costs and lack of worker safety laws, to name a few.

While the U.S. produces 10 oceangoing vessels each year, China produces more than 1,000.

“By producing far more than the Chinese market needs and exporting the rest, its state-backed shipbuilders command the global industry, making the U.S. dangerously reliant in turn,” added Meghan Hasse with the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Over the next 12 months, data on China’s shipbuilding practices will be gathered by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Katherin Tai.

In the meantime, workers and local lawmakers hope this is the start of the rebuilding and strengthening of America’s shipbuilding industry.

“When a shipyard goes out of business or the production of essential parts moves overseas we lose good-paying jobs and union jobs, but we also lose the knowledge of these tradesmen who have planted roots in our communities. We cannot let China eat our lunch,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin’s full release following the announcement of the investigation into Chinese shipbuilding can be found on her website.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe