oday, Congressman Bill Owens once again called on House Republican leadership to bring up for a vote legislation recently passed by the Senate that would help to create approximately 1.6 million jobs by cracking down on China's currency manipulation. Similar legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly last year by a vote of 348-79. Among those supporting the near-identical legislation in 2010 included 99 House Republicans, a majority of the party's conference at the time.
"The House no longer has an excuse to ignore this critical legislation," said Owens. "Now that the Senate has taken the first step in leveling the playing field after decades of manipulation by the Chinese government, the ball is in our court.
This is the latest in a series of efforts by Congressman Owens to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation. Earlier this year, Owens joined the launch of a discharge petition -- which can force action on legislation with signatures from 218 Members of the House of Representatives -- because House leadership continues to block its consideration. After House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) described a crack down on Chinese currency manipulation as "pretty dangerous', Owens warned that the real danger Congress should address is the continued exporting of quality American jobs overseas in the current trade war with China.
"I once again urge the Speaker to bring this legislation up for a vote as soon as possible so that it can be sent to the President's desk. In order to create quality jobs here at home, we have to fight for a level playing field for American businesses to expand and hire," Owens added. "Fair trade is critical to economic growth in Upstate New York, and when one country artificially deflates its currency to gain leverage on a capitalist world market, there is nothing fair about it."
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that if China revalued the Yuan by 28.5%, U.S. GDP growth would support 1,631,000 U.S. jobs. If other Asian countries followed suit, a total of 2,250,000 jobs could be created. The EPI further estimates that nearly 2.8 million Americans have lost their jobs in the past decade due to the nation's trade deficit with China.
The Chinese government continues to intervene in world markets to suppress the value of its currency 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 cheaper and American imports to China more expensive. The resulting imbalance jeopardizes efforts to create and preserve manufacturing jobs in America.
Mark Zandi of Moody Analytics testified in June that, "nothing is more important from a macroeconomic perspective for manufacturing, then to get these currencies better aligned."