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Public Statements

Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy, and I appreciate his leadership in working to have a piece of legislation here that can be brought forward in a bipartisan fashion, listening to the concerns that were expressed repeatedly to our committee.

I come from an area of the country that is intensely trade dependent. Some of our iconic brands, Nike, Harry and David, Columbia Sportswear, would not exist without strong international partnerships.

Oregon's largest private employer, Intel, is a product of the international market for high-tech products. This makes a difference to people in my community. When we find, as the International Monetary Fund has found, the currency of the Chinese is significantly undervalued, it makes the United States exports more expensive in China and Chinese imports cheap in the United States and third country markets.

My support for trade is contingent upon our making sure that we are using the tools in an aggressive fashion. We should be using all of the tools in our national trade tool box, the WTO, our bilateral agreements, shared agreements, forums that the United States and China are party to, U.S. domestic law, all of these to make sure that we are ensuring this level playing field that people are talking about here.

If, as has been estimated, China's currency policy could reduce our gross domestic product by over a percentage point when we are trying desperately to jump-start the economy, this is precisely the policy we should do moving forward.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate having an opportunity to vote on this today. I think this sends a strong signal that we want our international trade regime to work, that we are not just mindlessly entering into these agreements, but we are going to make sure that they are enforced. This an important step.

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