Lipinski Slams Treasury Secretary's Delay in Addressing Chinese Currency Manipulation that Destroys American Jobs

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) announced his strong opposition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's decision to delay the release of a scheduled April 15 report in order to avoid naming China as a currency manipulator.

"This delay by Secretary Geithner is another nail in the coffin for tens of thousands of American jobs and hundreds of American businesses," Congressman Lipinski said. "Washington already has waited much too long for China to change its policy of manipulating its currency to destroy American jobs and businesses. We all know China is manipulating its currency to keep the price of its exports artificially low and the price of imports from the United States and elsewhere artificially high. It's time we stopped tip-toeing around the Chinese government and took concrete action to help American workers."

Over the weekend, Secretary Geithner issued a statement indicating that he would delay the April 15 Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies for an unspecified period of time. In the meantime, the administration plans to continue talking to China despite the fact that such discussions have proved fruitless in the past. Although China's currency may be undervalued by as much as 40 percent, Secretary Geithner only hinted at the depths of the problem in his statement.

"Talking with China about this issue has done nothing but allow it to continue to steal American jobs during a period of record-high unemployment," said Congressman Lipinski, who also joined 11 other members of the Populist Caucus in issuing a separate letter today opposing Geithner's decision. "What reason do we have to believe that more talk will do anything to change that in the near future? Every day that we wait to take action is another day Chinese manufacturers enjoy an unfair advantage and flood our country with goods that all too often are unsafe or shoddily made. Instead of waiting for China to do whatever it pleases, we need to level the playing field for American companies."

Congressman Lipinski was part of a bipartisan group of 130 members of the House of Representatives that sent a letter last month to Secretary Geithner and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke demanding action to combat China's currency manipulation. Among other things, the letter urges the Department of Commerce to apply the U.S. countervailing duty law in defense of American companies that have suffered as a result of manipulation. 

"By pegging the renminbi to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate, China unfairly subsidizes its exports and disadvantages foreign imports," the letter states. "As we work to promote a robust U.S. economic recovery, it is imperative that we address this paramount trade issue with all available resources."

(April 7, 2010)


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