Lipinski Votes to Defend American Workers and Create Jobs by Cracking Down on China's Currency Manipulation

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted for the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, H.R. 2378, to make it easier to combat China's currency manipulation, which artificially lowers the price of Chinese exports and has resulted in the loss and outsourcing of countless American jobs over the last decade. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 348 to 79.

"It's about time Congress took decisive action to restore fair competition for American manufacturers and to protect American workers from the effects of China's currency policy," Congressman Lipinski said. "At last count, manufacturing employed more than 40,000 people in my district. One major reason that number is substantially lower than it once was is that China refuses to let the free market set the value of the renminbi, which is now undervalued by at least 25 percent. The result is that cheap Chinese goods continue to crowd out those stamped 'Made in U.S.A,' forcing domestic manufacturers and other exporters to lay off workers at a time when we can ill afford more job losses."

Although China announced in June that it would allow the renminbi to rise against the dollar, its value has only increased by about 1 percent since then. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has refused to officially designate China a currency manipulator. Yet if China stopped devaluing its currency, 500,000 American jobs would be created, most in manufacturing, and most paying above-average wages, according to C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Congressman Lipinski has been a cosponsor of H.R. 2378 since early last year, and has supported similar legislation for as long as he has been in Congress. The bill would make it easier for the Commerce Department to rule that China's currency manipulation constitutes an export subsidy and to impose remedial tariffs to protect American manufacturers and jobs. The bill has been carefully crafted to be consistent with World Trade Organization rules.

"It is the government's duty to defend the American people," Congressman Lipinski said. "American workers and families have been under assault for years from China's currency policy, which steals American jobs. While we've been playing by the rules, China has enriched itself by ignoring them. Our policy has been all carrot and no stick, with unfortunate but predictable consequences. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act will help change that. I am glad the House finally recognized that negotiations alone were not getting the job done, and that we need to deliver a wake up call to China."

(September 29, 2010)


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