August 01, 2007

Dodd, Shelby Laud Committee Approval of Legislation to Protect U.S. Jobs, Combat China Currency Manipulation

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, along with ranking Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today announced that the Committee passed S. 1677, the Currency Reform and Financial Markets Act of 2007. The legislation, which was introduced by Dodd and Shelby on June 21, is intended to level the playing field for American workers and businesses. China’s ongoing intervention to keep the yuan undervalued has contributed to the loss of approximately three million American manufacturing jobs and the record-high U.S. trade deficit. The Dodd-Shelby proposal, among other things, would create tough, new authority for both the Treasury Department and the Congress to act to provide a level playing field for U.S. businesses and workers. The legislation would also tighten the definition of currency manipulation to provide for greater clarity and to prevent ambiguity or delay in addressing the problem. No other Congressional legislation encompasses these two elements. “A change in our currency manipulation policy is long overdue,” said Dodd. “America’s companies and workers deserve an opportunity to compete on fair terms with countries such as China, just as we provide market access and fair competition for China and other nations on our soil. We are not asking for a head start here, just a fair race. The United States stands to benefit greatly from China’s booming economy and growth, but the current conditions of this relationship are hurtful to the U.S., not helpful. That is why Senator Shelby and I introduced this legislation to put American policy where it belongs – on the side of American workers and businesses, and I am pleased that we were able to pass it through the Committee in a timely manner. I look forward to consideration of this bill by the full Senate.” Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased that the Banking Committee today overwhelmingly approved the Currency Reform and Financial Markets Act. For too long, American workers and businesses have suffered because China manipulates its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage. Although this unfair advantage is clear, Treasury has declined to cite China for manipulation due to a technicality in the law. By removing the only existing loophole under current law, our bill will force the Administration to avail itself of all of the tools at its disposal in order to provide recourse for American workers and businesses. I thank Chairman Dodd for his efforts on this issue, and I look forward to working with him to advance this legislation through the full Senate."