WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is showing its unhappiness with a federal court ruling that restricted the government's ability to impose higher trade penalties on China when it subsidizes exports to the United States.

There's a new proposal to restore the Commerce Department's power to take on China's unfair trade practices. The legislation was introduced on the same day as the top U.S. trade official, Ron Kirk, asked Congress to act on the China issue and on trade relations with Russia.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the Commerce Department lacks the legal authority to impose punitive trade measures on subsidized imports from countries such as China and Vietnam.

In 2009, the Obama administration imposed a three-year tariff, starting at 35 percent, on U.S. imports of low-grade Chinese tires.