A year ago the U.S. House in overwhelming bipartisan fashion passed a measure to crack down on China's manipulation of its currency. Despite more than 200 co-sponsors of the reintroduced measure this year and increasing signs that the Senate is also prepared to act, House Republican leaders have offeredno plans to bring the bill to the floor. Today, a bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation that incorporates all of the major components of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. It is time for action in the House. China's undervaluation of its currency artificially raises the price of U.S. exports to China and suppresses the price of Chinese imports into the United States. This manipulation closes opportunities for American business to sell their goods in China while flooding other export markets with cheap goods. (Key Facts Below)
Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that China's manipulation of its currency costs one million American jobs. The manipulation, Bergsten has said, "is by far the largest protectionist measure adopted by any country since the Second World War -- and probably in all of history."
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI),Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin: "The consequences of inaction are clear: Hundreds of thousands of American jobs are lost as a result of China artificially undervaluing its currency. At a time when 14 million Americans are looking for work and China is employing an increasing array of unfair trade practices the House should move immediately on the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. This legislation has broad bipartisan support in the House and there's no excuse for inaction."
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member: "The undervaluing of a country's currency creates serious problems on both sides of a trading relationship. China's policy has cost millions of American jobs and hurt the everyday Chinese worker too. After years of ignoring this problem I'm glad to see the Senate taking action, and the House should follow suit. Thus far, the Republican-dominated House has shown little, if any, willingness to fight for American jobs. This should be a bipartisan issue -- House Republicans should join Democrats and work to resolve this problem."
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH): "We must take action now on foreign currency manipulation -- every day we wait compounds the economic and moral fallout of lost jobs and debt for future generations. This is a bill that has had bipartisan support in the past, but for some reason Republicans are now blocking us from taking it up for consideration and protecting our manufacturing sector from China's unfair policies. Passing this bill will create the jobs we need to begin to turn our economy around, and set a new standard to improve our trade policy for years to come. I urge the Republican leadership to make job creation a top priority and bring the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to the floor for passage."
Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA): "For over seven months we have been pushing the House Republican majority to take action on foreign currency manipulation -- legislation that will help American businesses and create millions of new jobs. And for over seven months, our calls have fallen on deaf ears. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for introducing this legislation, and once again I urge the House Republican Leadership to put American jobs first and bring the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to the Floor."
BY THE NUMBERS
1 million to 1.5 million Estimated job growth by reining in China's currency manipulation.
28.5% Estimate of undervaluation today.
348 Number of members who supported the bill in September.
7 Months since the reintroduction of the bill without any action by Republican leadership.
56 Number of Republican co-sponsors of the bill this year.
201 Number of co-sponsors to H.R. 639.