U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today proudly voted with the House majority in favor of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2010. The legislation, which Rep. Pascrell co-sponsored and now moves to the U.S. Senate, will give our nation the tools it needs to enforce the rules of trade and address China's currency manipulation.
"Everyone acknowledges the reality that China's currency is fundamentally undervalued. My friends on the other side of the aisle, the Administration, our international partners, and even China itself have all said the nation's currency could and should appreciate," said Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "However, despite this widespread consensus, China has not taken any meaningful steps to correct this manipulation that disrupts the flow of international trade. With the passage of this bill today, we signal to China that enough is enough. The free ride is over. We will not stand by while we lose 1.5 million Americans jobs and shave 1.5 percent off of our GDP every year."
For years, China has manipulated the value of its currency, the renminbi, keeping it artificially low to the detriment of the U.S. economy. This devaluation has exacerbated the growing trade deficit with China. Our trade deficit caused a loss of 3.4 percent of GDP growth this past quarter, and the portion of that deficit with China has led to 2.4 million American jobs lost or displaced since 2001, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
Approximately 6,000 of those jobs were in New Jersey's Eight Congressional District of New Jersey.
"The United States has attempted to negotiate in good faith with the Chinese Government over the issue of its currency since 2003. Yet, since the Chinese announced in June they would let their currency rise in value, it has appreciated only one percent," said Pascrell. "This is unacceptable to the millions of Americans who have seen their jobs shipped overseas to countries like China that simply refuse to play by the rules. The United States must use all of the tools we have in order to ensure that our workers and businesses are not being cheated by currency manipulation and illegal subsidies."
In addition to fighting trade imbalances with China, Rep. Pascrell has held jobs creation and the promotion of American manufacturing as top priorities throughout this Congress. The recent legislation he has authored includes a bill to bring manufacturing jobs to New Jersey through the offshore wind energy industry, and a bill to spur jobs creation through water infrastructure upgrade projects.
This legislation is part of the national "Make it in America" manufacturing strategy to create the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future--promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports. While Republicans are standing on the side of big corporations who outsource jobs overseas, we are working to rebuild American manufacturing and our economy to create jobs that stay here in America.