Casey: China Trade Surplus Shows Need for Action as US-China Officials Meet

WASHINGTON, DC— On the second day of the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings in Washington, new data was released showing a greater than expected increase in the U.S. trade deficit with China.  U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for action to stop China’s unfair trade practices that hurt Pennsylvania workers and companies.  Senator Casey will also raise these issues tomorrow when he meets with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke who is the nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China. 

“This new data underscores the need for the U.S. to get serious about cracking down on China's currency manipulation,” said Senator Casey.  “It is time to stand on the side of Pennsylvania workers and protect our jobs.”  Senator Casey continued: “As U.S. and Chinese officials meet, new evidence of a surging trade deficit with China makes a strong case to push China to end its unfair trade policies that put Pennsylvania workers and businesses at a disadvantage.  I have repeatedly pushed the Obama Administration to crack down on China’s currency manipulation and other unfair trade policies.  A level playing field is necessary to protect Pennsylvania jobs and give companies the ability to compete and create new jobs.  The Obama Administration must push China and protect Pennsylvania jobs.” 

China’s overall trade surplus in April was $11.4 billion.  China’s surplus with the U.S. was $15.1 billion.  China’s April trade surplus was almost four times greater than expected.  China’s trade surplus with the U.S. increased 16 percent and was at its highest level since November.

Senator Casey has been a vocal opponent of Chinese currency manipulation.  He has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to more aggressively confront China and he is pushing legislation that would make it harder for the Administration to avoid taking action against China.

The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, which Senator Casey unveiled with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would vigorously address currency misalignments that unfairly and negatively impact U.S. trade.  If passed, the legislation would provide less flexibility to the Treasury Department when it comes to citing countries for currency manipulation. It would also impose stiff new penalties on designated countries, including duties on the countries' exports and a ban on any companies from those countries receiving U.S. government contracts.