CHINA CURRENCY COALITION WASHINGTON, D.C.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Meg Mullery 202.342.8439
Broad-Based U.S. Coalition Commends Senator Bunning
For Taking Aim at Injurious Currency Undervaluation
(September 28, 2006) (Washington, D.C.) � A coalition of U.S. industry, agriculture and workers applauded legislation introduced today by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) to take action against injurious imports that are subsidized as the result of exchange-rate undervaluation by China or any other country.
The China Currency Coalition, whose membership comprises a broad cross-section of American manufacturers, producers and unions, thanked Senator Bunning for introducing the legislation, which gives the option of pursuing relief against subsidized, injurious imports from China under either or both the countervailing duty law and the China-specific market-disruption statute. Companion legislation in the House of Representatives introduced by Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA), the Chinese Currency Act of 2005 (H.R. 1498), already has 178 co-sponsors, including 86 Republicans.
Coalition co-chairman Doug Bartlett, President of Bartlett Manufacturing Company, Inc., an Illinois company that produces printed circuit boards and has lost tens of millions of dollars in revenues and been forced to reduce its workforce substantially since 2000, noted, �The U.S. electronics industry is not alone. The problems we face are being felt by the steel industry, auto parts, plastics, and others, and the list goes on and on. Both the Bunning bill and the Ryan-Hunter bill properly recognize injurious exchange-rate undervaluation for what it is, a prohibited export subsidy that is contrary to international trade rules, and give us much-needed means to counteract such illegal, injurious subsidization. The Chinese government, for example, effectively undervalues its currency by 40 percent or more, a formidable advantage to Chinese exporters at the expense of U.S. industry, agriculture and workers. Tolerance of such an unlawful practice by China or any other country means that we are trying to compete in an international trading system that is broken. Senator Bunning and Congressmen Ryan and Hunter are to be commended.�
�The Bush Administration's do-nothing approach to currency manipulation by China has failed working families for far too long,� said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and coalition co-chairman Richard Trumka. �China's unfair competitive advantage created by currency manipulation and systematic workers' rights violations has contributed to the loss of millions of good American jobs and a record trade deficit. If the Administration won't act, then Congress must - by passing the Bunning legislation without delay.�
Bill Hickey, President of Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, also expressed his appreciation for the legislative efforts of Senator Bunning. �In recent years I have watched the hollowing out of many parts of the American manufacturing economy. Undervalued currencies not only provide a subsidy to exporters, but act as a tax on products made in America that are shipped to China or other countries engaging in currency manipulation. If the countries we trade and compete with do not follow the rules, we as a nation must take action. This legislation is the action we need now. What all of us want is free and fair trade so we all have a chance to survive and prosper.�
�By allowing currency manipulation by any trading partner to go unchecked, we�re putting U.S. producers of capital-intensive goods at a competitive disadvantage to the detriment of the future prosperity of our U.S. manufacturing base, our employees, communities and families,� observed Jon McClure, founder and CEO of ISO Poly Films. �It�s not the cheap labor. It�s the distorted exchange rate, and that is why the Bunning bill and the Ryan-Hunter bill are so important to U.S. manufacturing.�
In summary, David Hartquist, counsel to the Coalition, observed, �We are delighted with the announcement by Senator Bunning today and are grateful to him for his commitment to U.S. industry and workers. His willingness to hold China and other countries to account for the very disruptive, dangerous and destructive practice of exchange-rate undervaluation is extremely welcome. The Coalition considers the Bunning bill and the Ryan-Hunter bill to be, without question, the strongest WTO-consistent solutions yet to be offered for this problem.�
The China Currency Coalition is an alliance of industry, agriculture and worker organizations whose mission is to support U.S. manufacturing by seeking an end to currency undervaluation by China and other countries.