Given China Concerns, NRCC Should Support Passage of Legislation to Address Currency Manipulation

Posted by scapozzola on 08/17/2011

On Tuesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) sounded the alarms that the U.S. is falling behind China. According to AAM’s new national bipartisan poll, just 32% of American voters believe that the U.S. still has the strongest economy in the world – a position they now give to China.

Given this concern, the NRCC should be pushing Speaker John Boehner to bring H.R. 639, the China currency manipulation bill to a vote when the House reconvenes in September. There is little doubt that, if brought to a vote, it would pass with overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639) has roughly 200 cosponsors, including nearly 60 Republicans – many of whom are freshmen that identify themselves with the Tea Party. Identical legislation passed the House in September 2010 with 99 Republican votes.

Our surging trade deficit in goods with China should be a red flag for every policy maker and should demand the same level of attention that our budget deficit has received in recent months. Our trade deficit with China – fueled by currency manipulation and other illegal trade practices – rose from $84 billion in 2001 to a record $273 billion in 2010, and roughly three-quarters of our manufacturing trade deficit is attributable to China. Our surging trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2008 resulted in the loss or displacement of 2.4 million American jobs.

Balancing trade with China would do more to improve our budget deficit than almost any other proposed solution. If China were to revalue the yuan to its equilibrium level – and other Asian countries were to follow suit – the benefits for the U.S. economy would be significant:
•    The U.S. GDP would increase by as much as $285.7 billion (1.9%);
•    As many as 2.25 million American jobs would be created, enough to increase total U.S. employment by 1.6%; and
•    The U.S. budget deficit would be lowered by up to $71.4 billion per year – or between $621 to $857 billion over ten years, if sustained.

Republicans and Democrats alike should join us in calling on House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to immediately bring the China currency manipulation bill to the floor when the House reconvenes in September.

Read more about currency manipulation here.

Tell your member of Congress to cosponsor the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act by clicking here.

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