WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement on the ten year anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization:
“As we approach the tenth anniversary of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization this Sunday, we should take a hard look at whether China’s actions live up to the international rules they agreed to when they joined the WTO.
“China’s unfair currency policy has exacerbated ongoing economic hardship for millions of Americans. While China has kept its currency undervalued by some estimates as much as 30 percent, U.S. workers continue to struggle to find jobs at home. That is why I have pushed the Administration on this issue and fought to pass legislation that would crack down on this unfair manipulation of the system. I have also personally delivered this message to Chinese officials in a recent meeting in which I made clear that these actions will not be tolerated.
“For far too long, the U.S. has allowed China to manipulate its currency without consequences and the practice has taken a dramatic toll on Pennsylvania’s companies and workers. I will continue to fight to protect Pennsylvania’s workers.
“One look at China’s exploding foreign reserves shows the extent of this distortion even in the face of a world-wide financial crisis in 2008.”
China continues to push to become the world’s manufacturer, using currency, rampant subsidies, theft of intellectual property, and attempts to control raw materials to achieve this goal. This collection of policies makes China the biggest problem area in international trade. U.S. manufacturers, including in Pennsylvania, are some of the most competitive and advanced in the world. But they should not be expected to compete against the Chinese government. In Pennsylvania, Chinese intellectual property theft hurt the makers of Zippo Lighters and Martin Guitars, which now must compete against fake products bearing their logo and trademark.
The impact that China’s policies have had can be seen plainly in the share of imports that China now controls. Since joining the WTO, China has become the largest source for U.S. imports, surpassing even Mexico and Canada. China accounts for nearly one fifth of all imports into the United States.