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GOP Leadership Undermines Effort to Fight Chinese Currency Manipulation


September 8, 2011

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Experts predict that more than 1 million American jobs could be created if the United States took steps to challenge China’s practice of artificially undervaluing its currency, the yuan, which undermines American manufacturing.   

Legislation was introduced in Congress last fall to do just that, but Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is preventing the bill from coming to the floor for a vote.

Bill sponsor Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) says:

American workers are being cheated by the dishonest tactics China uses to undermine the U.S. manufacturing sector. Last year, when Democrats controlled Congress, we passed – with overwhelming support – a bill that would help bolster American manufacturers by cracking down on China’s currency manipulation. Unfortunately, since Republicans have taken control of the House, they have refused to bring the bill back for a vote. Why are they covering for China instead of standing up for American workers?

The disastrous effect Chinese currency manipulation has on the American economy is described in the November 2010 issue of the Electrical Worker:

First, Chinese imports are 35 percent cheaper in the U.S. than they would be if the two nations had a fair trading relationship. Second, U.S. manufacturers are tempted to spend more dollars outsourcing operations to China. Not only is labor cheaper and government regulation of environmental quality and labor standards weaker than at home, but the dollar buys more equipment abroad.

The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act won broad bipartisan support when it was first introduced, with more than 50 GOP sponsors, but Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have bottled up the legislation since taking control of the House last year.

Says International President Edwin D. Hill:

China’s undervaluing of its currency is killing American exports and jobs. And with jobs being the country’s No. 1 concern, it is inexcusable that leaders in Congress would try to block bipartisan legislation that gives American companies a fighting chance in the global economy.


Photo used under a Creative Commons License from Flickr user gacorley.