Washington: Amid concerns by lawmakers over
reports that China had undervalued its currency by 40 per
cent, a key Congressional committee on Thursday announced that it
would take up tomorrow a bipartisan legislation on the alleged
manipulation of the Yuan.
The House of Representatives` Ways and Means Committee
said it would consider the bipartisan Currency Reform for Fair
Trade bill that would address currency "manipulation" by
foreign governments, including that of China.
The bipartisan legislation currently has 150 co-sponsors,
including 45 Republican members.
"It is time for Congress to pass legislation that will
give the Administration leverage in its bilateral and
multilateral negotiations with the Chinese government so
that US businesses and workers have a more level playing field
in world trade," House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi
"The legislation must and will be consistent with our
World Trade Organisation obligations," Pelosi said.
On September 15, a total of 100 House members sent a
letter to the Democratic and Republican leadership requesting
that the bill come to the House floor for a vote.
"Members of Congress, US businesses and workers have
expressed concern that the Chinese government has intervened
in currency markets to cause its currency to be undervalued by
as much as 40 per cent.
"This unfair trade practice translates into a significant
subsidy, artificially making US products more expensive, and
jeopardising efforts to create and preserve manufacturing jobs
in America," Pelosi said.
According to testimony at the committee hearings
last week, China`s currency "manipulation" has reduced the US
exports, caused the loss of American manufacturing jobs and
significantly contributed to large US trade deficit with
China, she said.
If China allowed its currency to respond to market
forces, it could create a million US manufacturing jobs and
cut the bilateral trade deficit by USD 100 billion a year,
with no cost to the US treasury, Pelosi said.
"For years, the Bush administration, the Obama
administration and members of Congress have tried to persuade
the Chinese government to allow its currency to respond to
market forces. No significant progress has been made," said
the powerful Speaker of the House of Representatives.