AAM, USW protest Chinese currency devaluation
WASHINGTON (Aug. 12, 2015) — The United Steelworkers (USW) union and the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) are among the organizations protesting the Chinese government's decision to devalue its currency.
Beijing announced its devaluation of the renminbi — the formal name for the Chinese yuan — Aug. 11, in what observers called the largest devaluation of Chinese currency in 20 years.
China has long been the target of criticism from around the world for undervaluing its currency. Critics call this a brazen attempt on China's part to make its products artificially cheap on world markets while making imported goods unduly expensive in China.
The USW and the AAM are two of the most outspoken critics of China's currency policies.
“China's action to manipulate their currency makes clear that this not only has to be a key issue for the upcoming U.S.-China summit, but for effective and enforceable disciplines missing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
“American workers sees this as a jobs security issue and can't afford our government's continuing inaction on this issue,” Mr. Gerard said.
Luke Lorenz, a blogger on the AAM website, also brought up the lack of protections against currency manipulation in the TPP.
“If there are no repercussions for China's use of these unfair tactics, what is to stop the 12 nations included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership?” Mr. Lorenz wrote. “The issue of currency manipulation has yet to be addressed.”
The Obama administration has had 13 opportunities to identify China as a currency manipulator in its semi-annual Reports to Congress on International Currency and Exchange Rate Policies, but has never done so, according to Mr. Lorenz.
“This latest action undertaken by China reflects a blatant disregard for global trade norms and can be viewed as an affront to their most significant trade partner, the United States,” he wrote.
China's currency devaluation caused sharp losses in stock markets around the world. In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average lost 212.33 points on Aug. 11, falling to 17.402.84. As of 12:06 p.m. on Aug. 12, the Dow had lost another 253.69 points, standing at 17,149.15.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also condemned China's action.
“China will stop at nothing to give its exports an unfair advantage in the global marketplace, and this devaluation by the Chinese government is concerning,” Sen. Brown said. “Given China's history of currency manipulation, this depreciation must be monitored closely.”
Sen. Brown is a co-sponsor of the Currency Undervaluation Investigation Act. The bipartisan bill designed to help U.S. manufacturers harmed by foreign currency manipulation and assure negative consequences for countries that fail to adapt appropriate policies against currency undervaluation, according to Sen. Brown's website.
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