WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to bring the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act to the floor for a vote. The Casey-backed legislation, which would save Pennsylvania jobs, passed the Senate last October by a bipartisan margin of 63 to 35 but has since languished in the House.
“I have talked with countless business owners and workers throughout Pennsylvania who have been hurt by China’s actions,” said Senator Casey. “China’s currency manipulation amounts to cheating and has put our workers and our economy at a disadvantage, so it’s long past time for the House to act.”
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.
According to a recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the trade deficit with China cost Pennsylvania over 101,000 jobs between 2001 and 2011. As a whole, the U.S. lost more than 2.7 million jobs as a result of the U.S.-China trade deficit, of which 2.1 million—more than 75 percent—were in manufacturing. These lost manufacturing jobs account for more than half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost or displaced between 2001 and 2011, according to the report. In June 2011, EPI released a report showing that addressing Chinese currency manipulation could support the creation of 2.25 million American jobs.
The full text of the letter to Speaker Boehner Senator Casey sent along with 20 other Senators is below:
The Honorable John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
Dear Speaker Boehner:
Almost one year ago, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support. We urge you to allow a vote on currency legislation before you adjourn the House.
The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, which was passed by the Senate 63-35 on October 11, 2011, would repeal the currency oversight provisions in current law and replace them with a new framework, based on objective criteria. These criteria will require Treasury to identify misaligned currencies and require action by the Administration if countries fail to correct the misalignment. In addition, the legislation passed by the Senate uses trade laws to effectively counter and deter the harm done to manufacturers, farmers, and producers from currency manipulation.
Legislation is necessary to actually give American businesses and workers tools to fight back. The House agreed in September 2010 when it voted 348-79 to allow treatment of currency manipulation as a prohibited export subsidy in trade investigations. There are 256 sitting House members, more than a majority, who supported this legislation, including 80 Republicans.
The Senate bill is a bipartisan, job-creating measure that is supported by groups in every state. We respectfully urge you to pass this bill and send it to the President.