WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged Obama Administration officials to press China to curb currency manipulation during a two day U.S.–China Strategic & Economic Dialogue in Washington, but insists that legislation will be the mechanism to force real change. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with a Chinese delegation to discuss economic, trade, and military policies that affect both nations. Brown is the author of bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate that would crack down on Chinese currency manipulation.
“Ohioans have always produced quality goods that are sold around the world. Chinese currency manipulation hinders American manufacturers who are eager to put Ohioans back to work,” Brown said. “The Obama Administration has a unique opportunity during this meeting to urge Chinese officials to stop the unfair and unjust currency manipulation that threatens American manufacturing and eliminates American jobs.”
“China’s unfair currency manipulation has gone on for far too long, and it’s clear that legislation is needed to level the playing field. With factory doors continuing to close across the U.S., Ohio workers and small businesses can’t afford to wait any longer,” Brown added. “The Chinese government has taken small steps to allow the yuan to appreciate, but it is not enough. Actions speak louder than words, and we’ve heard a lot of words over the years.”
To combat Chinese currency manipulation, Brown and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the bipartisan Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2011 earlier this year, legislation that will give the Obama Administration additional tools to address China’s currency manipulation.
The legislation introduced is similar to the 111th Congress bill H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2010, which passed the House of Representatives last September by a vote of 348-79. The legislation, which directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to treat currency undervaluation as a prohibited export subsidy, would ensure the government is equipped to respond on behalf of American workers and manufacturers by imposing countervailing duties on subsidized exports from countries like China.
Sen. Brown has been a key leader in bipartisan Senate efforts to address Chinese currency manipulation. Last month, in advance of President Hu Jintao’s visit, Brown again joined Snowe in announcing plans to introduce bipartisan legislation to address China’s unlawful practice of currency manipulation. Last December, Brown and Snowe also filed Chinese currency legislation as an amendment to the tax extenders legislation. Previously, Brown and Snowe had sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging action before the Senate adjourned for the year on the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.