UNITED STATES TRADE RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 26, 2005)
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Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3283. The so-called United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act would provide little to no remedy for those in my district who are deeply concerned about the ever growing trade deficit with the Peoples Republic of China due to its longstanding illegal policy of currency manipulation.
This is a major issue. Congress should be considering this measure for more than forty minutes and with the opportunity to offer amendments. However, this will not be the case today because of the procedures under which this bill was brought to the floor. We should be debating this issue in great depth, not the rather cursory discussion we are having today. We should be talking seriously about complex issues like "Super 301," "double counting," and what exactly we should do with our countervailing duties. We should be talking about why our trade deficit with China is now at $162 billion and continues to grow with no end in sight. We should be talking about the fact that China doubled its holding of U.S. debt between 2001 and 2004. And we should be talking about how jobs in our home states have been affected and what we can do to help American businesses who are struggling to export their goods to China.
But that debate unfortunately will not happen today.
Rather, today the House is considering H.R. 3283 because of an agreement reached, I presume to secure votes in favor of the seriously flawed Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, (DR-CAFTA). The majority has chosen to play politics on the floor today rather than seriously address the issues resulting from China's currency manipulation and the resulting trade imbalance that has ballooned between the United States and China.
I have heard from a number of constituents in my district who are deeply concerned about these issues. And yet today, we are not addressing their concerns with action, we are requesting studies. Today we are not ordering countervailing duties to correct for unfair trade practices, we are creating additional loopholes for China to evade the even paltry countervailing duties that do exist.
Madam Speaker, today I stand with the people in my district who are affected by China's currency manipulation and our soaring trade deficit. That is why I have cosponsored a number of other bills, such as the bipartisan The Chinese Currency Act, H.R. 1498, that will actually address China's currency manipulation. However, I will vote against H.R. 3283, and it is my hope that the Congress will re-evaluate this serious issue in a detailed fashion to actually address these important issues that have bipartisan support.
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