WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today after the U.S. Treasury Department released its Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies. In the report, Treasury avoided labeling China as a currency manipulator, only acknowledging that “the available evidence suggest the RMB [renminbi] remains significantly undervalued, and we believe further appreciation of the RMB against the dollar and other major currencies is warranted.”
“Once again, the U.S. Treasury Department has given China a free pass when it comes to its currency manipulation,” Brown said. “While we’re seeing American manufacturing rebound, China is stepping up its efforts in a number of critical sectors, including clean and solar energy, advanced manufacturing, and auto parts. Addressing China’s currency manipulation is critical to our economic recovery and for job gains, and despite wide bipartisan support in the Senate for legislation that tackles this issue, the U.S. House has failed to act. Speaker Boehner should bring the Currency Exchange and Oversight Reform Act to the floor as soon as possible.”
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. Brown authored the biggest bipartisan jobs bill to pass the Senate last year, which could create more than 2 million jobs in our country by leveling the playing field for American manufacturers competing against unfairly-subsidized imports. 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.