Casey to Boehner: Pass Legislation to Crack Down on China’s Currency Manipulation

New Data Indicate China Continues to Weaken Currency, Putting American Manufacturers at An Unfair Disadvantage

Bipartisan Casey-backed Bill Passed the Senate Last Year, But House Has Yet to Act to Save American Jobs

In Letter to Speaker Boehner, Senator Casey Urges Swift Action on Legislation to Crack Down on Unfair Manipulation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on House Speaker John Boehner to take up legislation to crack down on China’s continued currency manipulation in the wake of news that China allowed its currency to weaken in May more than any month since 2005. Currency manipulation gives Chinese manufacturers an unfair advantage over their American competitors, and Senator Casey has strongly pushed the Administration and Congress to take action to protect American jobs.

“China’s currency manipulation has a concrete, negative effect on the U.S. economy and Pennsylvania jobs, which is why we must take action now to protect our workers and crack down on China’s unfair practices,” said Senator Casey. “The Senate passed legislation to crack down on China nearly 8 months ago with bipartisan support, so it’s time for the House to act to protect Pennsylvania jobs and the American economy.”

Pennsylvania has been significantly impacted by China’s unfair trade practices, and Senator Casey has strongly pushed for action to protect Pennsylvania jobs. The Senate passed the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act last October, legislation Senator Casey championed to require the Administration to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation. A similar proposal has bipartisan support in the House.

“It is critical that the House of Representatives pass legislation to address China’s currency manipulation; I urge you to allow a vote on these bills without delay,” Senator Casey wrote in a letter to Speaker Boehner today. 

Full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I write to ask that you bring currency legislation for a vote in the House of Representatives. 

Last week, the Treasury Department released its semiannual “Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies.”  This year’s report once again raises serious concerns about China’s continued currency manipulation.  Over the last decade, China’s real effective exchange rate has been subject to “persistent and substantial undervaluation.”  Despite actions by China to permit some appreciation of their currency over the last two years, the Treasury Department indicates that significant further adjustment is necessary.  Unfortunately, China’s recent actions have represented a step backwards—thus far in 2012, China has further depreciated the value of the renminbi.

This manipulation has a concrete, negative effect on the U.S. economy.  By decreasing the value of the renminbi, China is able to drive down the price of its exports, giving Chinese manufacturers an unfair advantage over their American competitors.  This has significantly contributed to our $295 billion trade deficit with China, a trade deficit which has cost the United States 2.8 million jobs over the last decade, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.

There is strong bicameral and bipartisan support for congressional action to crack down on this manipulation.  More than six months ago, the Senate passed the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 in a bipartisan vote.  In the House of Representatives, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act has more than 230 bipartisan cosponsors.  It is critical that the House of Representatives pass legislation to address China’s currency manipulation; I urge you to allow a vote on these bills without delay.

Thank you for your consideration of my views.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

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