NEWTON FALLS, Ohio -- Two lawmakers and a businessman here say the time has come to hold China accountable for intentionally devaluing its currency, a practice they say cheats American manufacturers out of billions of dollars and cost this country millions of jobs.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-17 Ohio, visited Venture Plastics Inc. and met with its president, Steve Trapp, Monday. They used the event to promote legislation before the House that, if passed, would impose trade sanctions against Chinese companies that ship finished goods to this country at artificially low prices caused by currency manipulation.
"It's clear that China is involved in a unilateral trade war that they have begun," Brown told reporters at a press event inside Venture Plastic's plant here. "As long as we allow them to keep their currency at an artificially low value, it means that American manufacturers have difficulty competing."
A report from Economic Policy Institute found that over the last 10 years the United States has lost 2.8 million jobs to China, two-thirds of them in manufacturing. About 100,000 of those jobs were in Ohio, Brown said.
"If we could pass this legislation, and negotiate with the Chinese to bring their currency up to a competitive free-market level, it could mean as much as two and a quarter million American jobs," Brown said.
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