MORAINE, OH – With Ohio companies being undercut by 25-40 percent on price by Chinese competitors, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Harco Manufacturing today to call on the House of Representatives to pass legislation that would allow the U.S. to stand up for American manufacturers when China cheats by manipulating its currency. Brown joined Harco General Manager Rick Garver, Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley, and Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge to discuss how Ohio companies are losing business to cheap Chinese imports. Brown outlined how his China currency legislation would create jobs and provide immediate relief to Ohio manufacturers facing of flood of cheap Chinese imports – at no cost to taxpayers – if it is passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President.
“Many of my colleagues say that standing up for Ohio manufacturers would start a trade war with China. But we’re already in a trade war. This is about fighting back with one of the biggest bipartisan jobs bill the Senate has seen this year. We’ve lost millions of American jobs to China—including more than 100,000 Ohio jobs—due in no small part to that country’s illegal currency manipulation,” Brown said. “It’s time to put American workers first. We cannot stand by and watch any longer as our factories close down and entire communities undergo total devastation. Rhetoric has done little to solve the problem, and Ohio manufacturers and workers have paid the price. We must equip the Obama Administration with the tools it needs to crack down on China’s currency manipulation and help level the playing field for American businesses.”
“As long as other countries can manipulate their currency to gain a competitive advantage against U.S. businesses without any penalties, the U.S. manufacturing sector will never be able to reach its fullest potential and actually create jobs that can be sustained,” Garver said. “Legislation, such as the currency manipulation legislation, must be diligently pursued.”
“Even though the China currency legislation passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate, House leaders have refused to even bring this bill to the floor for a vote,” Brown added. “Our manufacturers can’t wait for more excuses or delays when it comes to dealing with China’s unfair trade practices—and that’s why the House should pass this legislation and send it to the President to be signed into law.”
According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the growing trade deficit with China – caused in large part by China’s illegal currency manipulation – has cost the United States more than 2.8 million jobs since 2001, including more than 1.9 million manufacturing jobs. In June, EPI released a report showing that addressing Chinese currency manipulation could support the creation of 2.25 million American jobs.
Brown’s bill, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, cleared the Senate on October 11 by a vote of 63-35 – representing the biggest bipartisan jobs package passed by the Senate last year. Although a bill similar to Brown’s introduced in the House has 230 cosponsors, House leadership has refused to schedule a vote on the legislation. As reported by the Dayton Daily News, Garver and Whaley recently attended an economic summit to discuss currency manipulation and its effect on Miami Valley businesses.
Currency manipulation is an illegal trade practice in which the Chinese government intentionally devalues its own currency against the United States dollar. This results in artificially expensive American imports to China, and artificially cheap Chinese imports to the United States. This puts Ohio and American manufacturers at a serious disadvantage, and makes it more difficult for American companies to compete against Chinese companies.