This week I voted in support of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378). As a cosponsor of this legislation, this was a key part of my "Make It in America" initiative to increase American manufacturing and create new jobs here at home. I am pleased it passed the U.S. House by a vote of 348 to 79 and the bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
The reason this legislation is so important is because the Chinese government currently does not let its currency appreciate at a normal rate, and some estimates say their currency is undervalued by as much as 25 to 40 percent. This unfair trade practice translates into a significant subsidy, artificially making Chinese imports into the United States much cheaper and U.S. exports to China much more expensive, jeopardizing efforts to create and preserve manufacturing jobs in America.
This bipartisan bill that I co-sponsored gives the Administration effective tools to address the unfair trade practice of currency manipulation by foreign countries, including China. The bill makes clear that additional tariffs can be imposed to offset the effects of a "fundamentally undervalued" currency under U.S. trade remedy laws. These are known as the countervailing duty laws.
I have always said I'm for FAIR trade. And this bill is a good start to making our trade policies more even-handed for the workers here at home.
China's currency manipulation has reduced American exports, caused the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and significantly contributed to our large trade deficit with China. If China allowed its currency to respond to market forces and appreciate normally, it could create hundreds of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs and cut our trade deficit with China by billions of dollars a year, with no cost to the U.S. treasury.
It is time to stand up for American workers and American manufacturers. They've earned it.