Sen. Brown Statement on Three Free Trade Pacts Submitted to Congress

Brown: Instead of More Trade Agreements that Have Shipped Jobs Overseas, Let’s Enforce Existing Trade Laws and Address Chinese Currency Manipulation

Brown is Lead Sponsor of the Bipartisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, Which Will Be Debated on the Senate Floor Starting Today

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement today after three free trade pacts were formally submitted to Congress:

“With an exploding trade deficit that has caused massive job loss, now is not the time to pass more wrongheaded free trade agreements. Where is the net job creation from NAFTA, CAFTA, or permanent trade relations with China? ” Brown said. “Instead of practicing trade according to a textbook that’s 20 years out of print, let’s practice trade based on our national interests. That means negotiating trade deals that don’t repeat the mistakes made in NAFTA. That means passing bipartisan jobs legislation that would crack down on Chinese currency manipulation. That means enforcing existing trade laws that allow Ohio manufacturers to compete on a level playing field. We must put American workers first.”

The Senate is expected this evening to advance a bipartisan, Brown-led jobs bill that would crack down on China’s illegal currency manipulation. A summary of the bill can be found here. The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 has 19 cosponsors, both Republican and Democratic, and a previous version of Brown’s bill passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives last year.

The Chinese government has long practiced currency manipulation by intentionally devaluing 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.

Recently, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Alliance for American Manufacturing released a new report showing that that 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 100,000 Ohio jobs and 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 led the House opposition to the Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005, falling just two votes shy of blocking the agreement after the vote was held open for nearly two hours. The author of the book Myths of Free Trade and described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American manufacturing,” Brown also stood up to President Clinton during debate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.

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