WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following new trade deficit figures that show a 34 percent jump over last month’s U.S.-China trade deficit, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) renewed his call for passage of bipartisan legislation that would level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers by addressing currency manipulation. In response to today’s trade deficit figures and upcoming talks between President Obama and Chinese President Xi, Brown released the following statement:
“As our trade deficit continues to widen, our need to level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers becomes more urgent,” Brown said. “Yet instead of taking action, we’re pursuing trade deals with countries that manipulate currencies. Congress won’t let these agreements move without finally imposing penalties on foreign nations that cheat trade laws by manipulating currency.”
Brown has long championed American workers and businesses and fought to protect them from illegal trade practices by foreign competitors, especially China. Brown is the author of the Currency Exchange and Oversight Reform Act, legislation that represents the biggest bipartisan jobs bill—at no cost to U.S. taxpayers—passed by the Senate in 2011. Brown plans on reintroducing the bill this week. The legislation would allow the U.S. government to stand up for American jobs when China cheats by manipulating its currency to give its exports an unfair advantage.
Last week, Brown urged the Department of Commerce (DOC) to protect companies operating in Ohio from illegal Chinese trade practices by maintaining antidumping duties (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese steel pipe imports. His effort comes in advance of an expected DOC ruling this week on a petition regarding product coverage for duties ordered on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from China. OCTG are used for domestic oil exploration, particularly in the shale industry, and are produced in Ohio by companies including U. S. Steel in Lorain, V&M STAR in Youngstown, Wheatland Tube in Warren, and JMC Steel in Brookfield.
In December 2012, Brown led a group of senators in urging the DOC to maintain AD and CVD on Chinese steel pipe imports. In 2009, Brown also testified before the ITC to advocate for the defense of U.S. steel and domestic steel pipe producers from unfair OCTG. The ITC’s ruling led to a border measure on imports to support domestic producers of steel pipe. By addressing illegal Chinese trade practices, this decision helped increase demand for domestic production.