NCTO urges Floor Vote on Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act
NCTO (National Council of Textile Organizations) applauded Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) for increasing pressure on the Chinese government by examining the country's exchange rate policy and the damage it has inflicted on the U.S. and global economy during a full committee hearing. NCTO noted that the hearing is the fourth this year to examine China's currency practices.
“It is evident by the $35 billion textile and apparel U.S./China trade deficit that undervaluation of the renminbi (RMB) promotes predatory export practices. Currency manipulation allows countries like China to flood the markets of countries like the United States with artificially cheap imports creating dangerous trade deficits, surging overseas debt, massive job losses, and the continuing erosion of the U.S. manufacturing base and its high wage workforce. After losing 2.4 million manufacturing jobs over the past decade, Congressional approval of H.R. 2378 is long overdue,” stated Cass Johnson, President of NCTO.
Johnson went onto say, “Hearings alone will not compell China to begin to revalue the RMB. It is clear that diplomatic efforts have failed to convince China to revalue its currency in a meaningful way. Congress has a responsibility to American manufacturers and their workers, and therefore must vote to approve H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act.” In order to ensure real export gains, the U.S. government must understand that currency manipulation and other subsidy programs employed by China and others have a real and detrimental impact on the ability of U.S. companies to export their goods and remain globally competitive.
Johnson added, “The U.S. manufacturing sector cannot rebound, and therefore the U.S. economy cannot regain its strength while U.S. jobs and U.S. production continue to be hijacked by China through illegal currency manipulation schemes.”
The impact on the U.S. textile industry has been enormous – Chinese exports of apparel have displaced Western Hemisphere exports and this has caused the loss of billions of dollars of U.S. orders for yarns and fabrics from this hemisphere. Currency manipulation is not only an economic weapon, it also undermines current U.S. Free Trade Agreements because the undervaluation is so significant that it eliminates or negates the duty free benefits that our FTA and preference partners enjoy. As a result, hundreds of thousands of textile export jobs in the United States continue to be lost because more and more orders shift to Asia.
U.S. government statistics show that since 2002, China's textile and apparel imports to the U.S. have increased 263 percent while the textile sector in the U.S. has shed 433,000 jobs. China's textile imports have increased an average of 75 percent in safeguard categories since the final China textile safeguards were eliminated on January 1, 2009.
NCTO looks forward to working with Chairman Levin and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to bring H.R. 2378 to the House floor for a recorded vote.
NCTO (National Council of Textile Organizations)