WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) today filed the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act as an amendment to pending tax legislation in order to address China’s unlawful practice of currency manipulation. 

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. The bill, H.R. 2378, passed the House of Representatives on September 29th by a vote of 348-79.

“The Chinese government is exporting at a record pace, but manufacturers and workers in Ohio and elsewhere across America are struggling to compete against a country that refuses to play by the rules when it comes to trade,” Brown said. “Addressing Chinese currency manipulation is vital to getting our economy back on track, which is why the Senate should act quickly to pass the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.”

“Manufacturers and workers in trade-sensitive industries – such as paper production in Maine – have been harmed by China’s mercantilist trade practices and, unfortunately, the silence of our government on currency manipulation has become the silence of our factories,” said Snowe.  “Our amendment would, at long last, make certain our government is prepared to investigate currency manipulation policies and penalize violators of global trade rules, whose distortions and inequities have undercut the ability of our nation’s workers to thrive and compete both nationally and world-wide.  I urge my colleagues to consider this essential amendment during debate on this vital package of tax relief Americans and businesses urgently need.”

On November 29, Senators Brown and Snowe sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging action before the Senate adjourns this year on the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. Last week, Brown authored an op-ed urging passage of legislation to address China’s currency manipulation.