Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Urges Senate Action on Currency Legislation
AAM Urges Senate Action on China’s Currency Manipulation
Currency bill could create 2.25 million jobs and reduce deficit by $857 billion over 10 years
WASHINGTON, DC. September 15, 2011. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) – a labor-management partnership between leading American manufacturers and the United Steelworkers – today gave its support to consideration and passage of legislation to address currency manipulation by China and other trading partners. AAM executive director Scott Paul sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell following an announcement that the Senate would soon be turning its attention to the issue.
In the letter to Leaders Reid and McConnell, AAM Executive Director Scott Paul explained that there are “no other policy options that would yield economic benefits on the same scale while also significantly reducing the deficit. And there are few policy options that enjoy such strong support. A new national, bipartisan poll conducted by AAM shows that 86 percent of voters favor penalizing nations like China that manipulate exchange rates and implement trade barriers to gain an unfair trade advantage.”
The letter highlights research conducted by the Economic Policy Institute showing that up to 2.25 million jobs would be created and the U.S. budget deficit could be reduced by $71.4 billion annually – or up to $857 billion over 10 years – if China’s and other nations’ currencies were brought to values determined by market forces and not by government interference.
In the letter, Paul states, “China and other trade partners intentionally manipulate the value of their currency in order to gain an artificial, unfair trade advantage over American-made goods. The net effect is a subsidy for Chinese-made goods that enter our market and a tax on our exports to China. The outcome is a massive and growing trade deficit for the U.S. economy, which means lost production, reduced wages, high unemployment, and larger budget deficits.”
Legislation pending in Congress to allow existing trade laws to be used to hold China accountable for currency manipulation enjoys broad bipartisan support. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are sponsors of S. 328, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. Identical legislation passed the House in September 2010 by a margin of 348-79 – including nearly all Democrats and 99 Republicans. Meanwhile, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – who are preparing to introduce their own bill – pushed alternative legislation in 2005 that garnered 67 votes – including 29 Republicans.
AAM is encouraged by reports that the Senate will soon be considering currency legislation and looks forward to working with leaders on both sides of the aisle to hold China and other nations that engage in currency manipulation accountable.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.