United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard is praising the
U.S. House for passage of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.
“Our USW members
and working families across America will be gratified with news of today’s
strong vote by the U.S. House that approved the Currency Reform for Fair
Trade Act as the way forward to stop the egregious behavior of China and
other nations that put our manufactured goods at an unfair disadvantage with
deliberate currency undervaluation,” Gerard said in a statement released on
Wednesday. “This bill will give us the tools we need to address the
shuttered factories and shattered dreams that currency manipulation has
Congressional members stood up for American workers and demonstrated a
commitment to reverse years of damage to our economy by passing this
important trade bill,” Gerard added. “Now it’s up to the Senate to do the
The USW says
that China’s undervaluation of the yuan makes its goods artificially cheap
in the market. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act would allow tariffs to
be imposed on certain goods imported from a country whose currency is
unfairly valued against the U.S. dollar.
Wednesday’s vote, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, spoke from the floor in
favor of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.
“As the Chairman
of the Congressional Steel Caucus, I would like to focus my remarks on the
steel industry,” Visclosky said from the floor. “In the world of steel,
China is of paramount concern. In 2009, China produced 47 percent of the
world’s total output of steel, which is 567.8 million tons. This is more
than double the amount that China produced in 2003. By comparison, last year
the United States produced approximately 60 million tons of steel, compared
with approximately 100 million tons in 2003. While multiple factors
contributed to China’s unprecedented increase in production, paramount among
them is China’s currency manipulation. The undervalued Yuan is perpetuating
a destructive trade imbalance and costing American jobs.”
ensure that the U.S. remains a competitive place for manufacturing
investment,” Visclosky also said. “This requires the U.S. to reverse the
unsustainable imbalance that has allowed other nations to adopt policies
supporting excessive exports of manufactured goods to the U.S., while we
export debt and manufacturing jobs. And we must take action now, as
evidenced by a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, which
estimates that the rising trade deficit with China will cost the U.S. over
one-half of a million jobs in 2010.
After the vote,
U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, similarly spoke in favor of the legislation.
Central Indiana, we’re fortunate to have a number of talented and innovative
manufacturers, but they’re currently in an unfair fight,” Donnelly said.
“The Chinese government is currently manipulating their currency so their
goods are essentially on permanent sale. This is unacceptable. The bill I
supported today achieves what I’ve heard from Hoosier business owners and
what I’ve been advocating for in Congress: identify the currency
manipulators and impose the penalties necessary to level the playing field.
Given a fair fight, American manufacturers will win every time.”