Casey: New Report on PA Job Loss Highlights Need to Target China Currency Manipulation

WASHINGTON, DCA new report released today shows that the U.S. trade deficit with China cost 106,970 Pennsylvania jobs between 2001 and 2010 and a total of nearly 2.8 million jobs in the United States.  The report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Alliance for American Manufacturing highlights the need to take action against China’s unfair trade practices, especially manipulation of its currency.

“As I have talked with business owners and workers throughout Pennsylvania, I have heard repeated stories of how China’s policies have created an uneven playing field,” said Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC).  “This report gives another example of just how big a toll unfair trade with China has had on Pennsylvania and the United States.  One basic step that should be taken immediately is to pass legislation to force action against China’s currency manipulation.  The Senate will soon take up currency manipulation legislation that should be quickly passed, signed into law and implemented.”

According to the EPI report: “Of the nearly 2.8 million jobs lost or displaced, 1.9 million of them were in manufacturing.  These jobs represent nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost between 2001 and 2010.”  The report also states that foreign competition has led to lower wages for workers in U.S. manufacturing. 

The full report can be found here: http://www.epi.org/publication/growing-trade-deficit-china-cost-2-8-million/

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.  He has called on President Obama, the Treasury Secretary and the Commerce Secretary to use their existing powers to take action on currency manipulation.

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.

On Wednesday, Senator Casey will chair a JEC hearing entitled, “Manufacturing in the USA: How U.S. Trade Policy Offshores Jobs,” at 2:00 P.M. The Committee will look at strategies that the U.S. can use to encourage China to adjust its exchange rate. The Committee will also examine the demonstrated benefit of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The hearing will be webcast live here.

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