USTR Investigation into Chinese Shipbuilding Rightly Scrutinizes Beijing’s Market Distortions

Tags Trade with China

It’s Time to Fight Back

Washington, D.C. — The United States Trade Representative (USTR) justly proceeded on Wednesday with the initiation of an investigation into China’s unfair trade practices aimed at dominating the global shipbuilding sector. 

“The Biden administration is right to move ahead with an investigation into China’s predatory practices in its shipbuilding industry. I am also encouraged to hear that President Biden will call for tripling tariff rates on Chinese steel imports,” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said. “Because whether it is steel and aluminum or shipbuilding or any other industry, we know China’s government will do whatever it takes to dominate. It’s time to fight back.”

“We stand with the United Steelworkers and other unions who filed this trade petition. In the coming weeks, the Alliance for American Manufacturing will visit shipbuilding communities across the country to learn how China’s unfair practices have harmed workers and communities. We’ll also seek to find out what these communities need to begin to make things right,” Paul said. 

Recent polling found: 

  • An overwhelming majority (82%) of U.S. adults agrees that China’s dominance of the global shipbuilding industry is concerning, with 32% saying it’s “very concerning.”
  • The vast majority (76%) of U.S. adults think that the use of Chinese-built drydocks to repair, maintain and retrofit U.S. Navy vessels is a threat to U.S. national security.
  • By far and away, most respondents (74%) support the U.S. government investing in the shipbuilding industry domestically, primarily to protect national security (72% support) and create more jobs (65% support).
  • The bulk of respondents (73%) agrees that “it is a matter of national security that the United States maintain the capability to build the ships and vessels to serve our commercial and military needs.”
  • A decisive majority (81%) agrees that it is important for the president to act to strengthen U.S. shipbuilding capabilities.

Morning Consult conducted nationwide polling of 2,200 U.S. adults in December on AAM’s behalf.


  • China is currently the world’s largest shipbuilder, dwarfing American shipbuilding capacity. In 2022, China built 46.59% of the world’s ships. South Korea came in second with 29.24%, and Japan in third with 17.25%. Meanwhile, the United States built a paltry 0.13%.

A leaked slide from the Office of Naval Intelligence revealed that China’s shipbuilding capacity is 232 times greater than the United States.