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China’s Exchange Rate Changes Woefully Inadequate

(Washington, D.C.) (July 21, 2005) – Changes announced today in China’s predatory exchange rate regime are a woefully inadequate first step, according to a coalition of American organizations committed to maintaining a strong U.S. industrial base.

The China Currency Coalition indicated that the revaluation of the yuan as announced by the People’s Bank of China amounts to an appreciation of only 2% compared to estimates by economists that the degree of undervaluation is 40% or more.

“China’s initial actions will not appreciably benefit the global trading system,” stated Doug Bartlett who serves as co-chairman of the coalition. “China’s actions will not substantially reduce the subsidy to its exports, will not reduce the flow of foreign exchange from subsidized investments, nor reduce speculative flows that endanger the Chinese economy and the global financial system,” he explained.

AFL-CIO official and coalition co-chairman Richard Trumka stated that China’s exchange rate measures are minimal and will do nothing to help reverse the continuing erosion of U.S. manufacturing jobs that are caused by China’s undervalued currency. “U.S. workers, even though the most productive in the world, cannot compete against the 40% subsidies that China provides its exporters,” he said.

Doug Bartlett is Chairman of Bartlett Manufacturing Company, Inc., in Cary, Illinois. In addition to the China Currency Coalition, Bartlett Manufacturing is a member of the United States Business Industry Council (USBIC). Bartlett also serves as President of the United States Printed Circuit Alliance (USPCA).

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka heads the labor federation’s Industrial Union Council and is the youngest secretary-treasurer in AFL-CIO history. The AFL-CIO represents 57 national and international labor unions comprising 13 million working women and men from every walk of life
The China Currency Coalition believes that the persistent undervaluation of the yuan is a burden on the economies of the United States, China, and the entire world. China’s undervalued currency taxes U.S. exports to China and subsidizes imports from China. The Coalition urges China to proceed without delay to eliminate the undervaluation of its currency.

David A. Hartquist, an international trade attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC, serves as counsel to the Coalition.

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