Machinists Union Praises Step Toward Fairness in Chinese Aerospace Manufacturing

Washington, D.C., December 8, 2015 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) applauds the trade enforcement action filed today by the United States Trade Representative against China for its hidden Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption for certain domestic aircraft.

“We have long argued for the enforcement of our trade laws against China’s aerospace industry,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to making sure China plays by the same rules everyone else does in this vital industry.”  

The IAM has been deeply concerned over the growth of China’s aerospace industry for many years. In testimony before the China-U.S. Economic Security Review Commission, IAM Chief of Staff and Director of Trade and Globalization Owen Herrnstadt said China “is one of the few countries that understands the great benefits aerospace can offer a national economy.”

“China utilizes every tool available to establish a strong aerospace industry, including other market distorting mechanisms like demanding that U.S. companies transfer production and technology in return for sales,” said Herrnstadt. “The action today is a step in the right direction to leveling the playing field among the world’s aerospace companies and their workers. We hope this paves the way for more aerospace exports produced by U.S. workers.”

The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries. Visit for more information about the IAM.