Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2009 introduced
The Fair Currency Coalition (FCC), an alliance of industry, agriculture, and worker organizations whose mission is to support U.S. manufacturing and production, thanked U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) for introducing the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2009 (CRFTA).
Including Congressmen Ryan and Murphy, a bipartisan group of 40 Members, 23 Democrats and 17 Republicans, have sponsored the House bill, H.R. 2378. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) have also sponsored the Senate bill (no bill number yet available).
CRFTA makes the unfair trade practice of prolonged currency misalignment actionable under U.S. countervailing duty (CVD) and anti-dumping law. Prolonged currency misalignment occurs when a foreign country aligns its currency to the U.S. dollar for a prolonged period at a below market rate. This acts both as a trade barrier and as an illegal export subsidy by making goods from the offending country artificially less expensive compared to products made in the United States.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and FCC Co-Chair Richard L. Trumka said, “Job creation is the number one issue on the minds of the AFL-CIO's 10 million members right now. While enacting the stimulus has provided critical short-term relief, the United States will not see sustained employment growth until our government stops China, Japan and others from using their undervalued currencies to steal American jobs. That is why Congress must pass the Ryan-Murphy CRFTA as quickly as possible."
FCC Executive Director Charles H. Blum said, "We thank Senators Stabenow and Bunning and Congressmen Ryan and Murphy for introducing the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2009. Export subsidies are prohibited under the WTO rules. When subsidies cause injury, those rules mandate a countervailing remedy.
Because the U.S. Commerce Department continues to refuse even to investigate allegations of prolonged currency misalignment, tens of thousands of jobs and even entire industries are being lost. This legislation is a 'must have' if America is to enjoy a sustainable recovery."
"The FCC is mobilizing its growing grassroots network in support of the Stabenow/Bunning and Ryan/Murphy bills introduced today. We are committed to working with the Obama Administration and Democrats and Republicans in Congress to make CRFTA law," Blum added.
With respect to China, the FCC estimates that the Yuan remains undervalued by about 30 percent as a result of the Chinese government's manipulation of its currency. “Products from China are frequently priced at less than the cost of the materials contained in the products,” Blum continued. “This is illegal government subsidization, pure and simple."
Since 2001, the United States has lost nearly five million manufacturing jobs. During that same time period, America has run a cumulative trade deficit in manufacturing goods in excess of $3.6 trillion, including deficits of more than $1.4 trillion with China and $645 billion with Japan. In 2008 alone, China and Japan combined to account for 78.6 percent of the $456 billion U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods.
The FCC is an alliance of industry, agriculture, and worker organizations whose mission is to support U.S. manufacturing and production by seeking an end to the illegal export subsidy of prolonged currency misalignment.
American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC)