Bipartisan Group Introduces Legislation to Crack Down on Currency Manipulation

Feb 10, 2015 Issues: Trade

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) joined Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Mo Brooks (R-AL) today in introducing legislation to hold currency manipulators accountable. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act takes aim at currency manipulators by enabling the Department of Commerce to impose countervailing duties to offset the impact of currency manipulation on a U.S. industry. The legislation is identical to the House bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2010. Similar legislation is being introduced today by a bipartisan group of Senators.

The Peterson Institute estimates that interventions in currency markets by foreign governments have cost U.S. workers as many as five million jobs over the last decade by making it more difficult for U.S. exporters to compete in other countries and by subsidizing their exports.

The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act alone is not by itself enough to end the practice of currency manipulation. Over 150 House Members and 60 Senators sent letters to the Obama administration in 2013 urging the inclusion of strong and enforceable currency obligations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership in order to deter our trading partners from manipulating their currency in the first place. A fact sheet on the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act is here.

“Few actions by foreign governments do more to disrupt free and fair trade and to harm U.S. job growth than currency manipulation,” Rep. Levin said. “Currency manipulation has had a major impact on millions of American middle class jobs. We are sending an unequivocal message today that action is needed to rein in this abuse.”

“When it comes to international trade, America is a welcoming nation but we’re not a welcome mat,” said Rep. Tim Murphy. “There must be consequences when foreign governments seek to illegally control currency markets in order to prop up their exporters while American factories close and American workers lose their jobs.”

“Currency manipulation and other trade subsidies are costing America jobs and it is time to hold countries accountable for their illegal actions,” said Rep. Tim Ryan. “We have the most innovative and productive workers in the world, but we need a level playing field if we want to remain competitive. This legislation is an important step we must take to ensure American manufacturing can thrive. This bill sends a strong message to foreign governments who manipulate their currencies at the expense of the American worker and when passed it will help create jobs here at home.”

“America’s dependence on foreign suppliers is a growing problem that hurts our nation’s defense industrial base and threatens our security independence,” said Rep. Mo Brooks. “In a time of war, the United States cannot rely on foreign suppliers for either the critical raw materials or finished products needed for our national defense. We in Congress need to empower the American worker and the American economy by using the resources we have here at home.  That’s why I am helping to lead a bipartisan effort, through the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, to protect American manufacturers from damaging and unfair currency manipulation.”

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