WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement on news that China will allow a gradual appreciation in the value of the yuan:
“Ohio workers and manufacturers can compete with anyone in the world, but still face a flood of cheap imports due to Chinese currency manipulation. China’s action to allow the yuan to rise slightly today is a drop in a huge bucket. And the truth is, we’ve seen China take actions like this before when the spotlight is on, and then revert back to old tricks. Congress must to take action on Chinese imports until the yuan rises to its fair market value. Too many Ohio manufacturers continue to face unfair competition from China and congressional action is long overdue. I will continue to work with Senators Schumer and Graham to move our legislation which cracks down on Chinese currency manipulation.
“It is also vital for the Department of Commerce to include China’s currency manipulation in its investigation of coated paper from China, as I have requested. A gradual rise in China’s currency does not change the fact Ohioans are losing jobs due to an unfair trade practice, and workers in competitive industries like paper need a trade remedy to combat currency manipulation.”
On June 10, Brown sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke calling for the Commerce Department to make a final ruling on whether or not it would investigate whether China’s currency policy provides an unfair subsidy for Chinese paper products that should be remedied through trade measures.
In March 2010, Brown cosponsored bipartisan legislation that would amend the Exchange Rates and International Economic Policy Coordination Act of 1988 to clarify the definition of manipulation with respect to currency, reduce the global account surplus requirement necessary for the United States to take action (only requires bilateral account surplus), and establish additional reporting guidelines for Treasury to include in their bi-annual reports to Congress.
Brown is the Chair of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy and one of Congress' leading voices on trade. Earlier this year, he was appointed to the President’s Export Council, a national advisory committee on international trade. In Oct. 2009, Sen. Brown introduced the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009. The legislation would give the federal government more authority to address trade barriers to American exports.