U.S. trade deficit increases in June; China deficit grows, too

Posted by scapozzola on 08/11/2011

The U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $53.1 billion in June.  The goods deficit with China increased to $26.7 billion in June.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul:

"A rising trade deficit is not the prescription for job creation in America. The June trade deficit exceeded virtually every estimate and is further proof that our economy is falling behind. I'm particularly concerned by the rising trade deficit with China. Unless we achieve a major rebalancing with China, our manufacturing sector will continue to experience long-term challenges. China has taken sporadic baby steps to increase the value of the Yuan, when what we need is a revaluation of at least 30 percent. Unless the Obama Administration gets tougher with China, we'll continue to see high trade deficits and anemic job growth.

"Congress also needs to step up to the plate. Cracking down on unfair trade practices--including currency manipulation--should be at the top of the trade agenda. Instead, it's been sidelined and there are no clear indications from House or Senate leaders that it is a legislative priority. That's why our activists are letting lawmakers know that we expect swift action on China's currency manipulation. If Congress wants to get serious about job creation, it will pass this bipartisan legislation."

Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act

The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639/S. 328) would allow the Department of Commerce to take currency manipulation into consideration when calculating subsidies in trade remedy cases initiated by companies and workers adversely impacted by unfair trade. The bill would utilize existing trade laws and has been carefully crafted to meet America’s international trade obligations.

If brought to a vote, there is little doubt that this legislation would be passed with overwhelming support.
•    The House bill (H.R. 639) – sponsored by Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) – has roughly 200 cosponsors, including over 50 Republicans. Last year, the House voted 348-79 to pass identical legislation, with the support of 99 Republicans and nearly all Democrats.
•    The Senate bill (S. 328) – sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) – has 12 cosponsors. In 2005, the Senate voted 67-33 in favor of a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to impose tariffs on Chinese imports unless the Chinese government stopped manipulating its currency.

Widespread Support

The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act is supported by hundreds of businesses, associations, and trade unions. Further, AAM polling shows that 85 percent of likely voters want their elected officials to hold China accountable for currency manipulation. This strong support extends across political boundaries – ranging from Tea Party supporters to Democrats.

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