Washington, DC —The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (“CSUSTL”), an organization of manufacturers, workers, and others dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of U.S. trade laws, applauds the introduction of the Senate’s Currency Undervaluation Investigation Act (S. 433) and the House’s Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 820), both of which address currency manipulation.
The Senate bill, introduced yesterday by a bipartisan group of senators included U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Burr (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) takes aim at countries like China that upend the rules of fair trade by manipulating their currency and seeks to hold them accountable for these actions. Similar legislation was introduced yesterday in the House by House Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and Representatives Tim Murphy (R-PA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Mo Brooks (R-AL). The House bill also targets currency manipulators and seeks to impose countervailing duties to offset the impact of currency manipulation on U.S. industry.
Both bills would require the Department of Commerce, during an unfair trade investigation, to examine whether and the extent to which a government’s currency manipulation provides a countervailable subsidy to its industries. Domestic producer parties would have to request such an examination and provide documentation to support an allegation of currency manipulation.
“CSUSTL has long supported efforts to control the rampant currency manipulation by countries like China that continue to not play by the rules,” CSUSTL President Terry Stewart said. “CSUSTL believes this legislation is a critical and necessary step in protecting the hardworking American workforce from the effects of unfair trade practices. CSUSTL supports this bipartisan effort and will advocate for passage of a currency bill that will end this trade distorting practice.”
American businesses and workers follow global trading rules and unfortunately for over a decade have had to battle against China’s unchecked currency manipulation. The undervalued yuan erodes the bottom line of otherwise competitive U.S. companies, resulting in fewer opportunities to serve its customers and fewer jobs for workers. According to a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, foreign government currency market intervention and manipulation has resulted in an estimated loss of as many as five million U.S. jobs over the last ten years. Further, an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found that eliminating currency manipulation would create up to 5.8 million American jobs, 40 percent of which would be in the manufacturing sector. It would also reduce the goods trade deficit by at least $200 billion.
CSUSTL will continue to work with these Congressional leaders to advance this legislation in the 114thCongress.