Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2013
The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2013 sends an important message that this nation will no longer tolerate currency manipulation by other governments. This wrongful and unfair practice distorts the global economy and disadvantages countries like the United States that follow international trade rules. The growth of these illegal actions has cost far too many jobs over the past several years. We call on the House and Senate to take action on this issue without delay.
Working people are proud of the leadership from Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to introduce this important the bipartisan legislation.
In addition to supporting this bill, the AFL-CIO supports companion legislation in the House, The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2013 (H.R. 1276). Considering the continuing job-destroying impacts of currency manipulation, there should be strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate.
When foreign governments manipulate currency, they give producers in their country an unfair advantage. When a country’s currency is devalued by 25 percent, that means US exports are 25 percent overpriced by comparison, while our imports from that country are underpriced by the same amount. Not only does this unfair practice severely damage the US manufacturing sector, it also means that workers in those countries suffer from reduced purchasing power themselves. The result on the U.S. trade deficit has been devastating—last year, the U.S. ran a trade deficit of more $315 billion dollar in trade in goods with China alone.
Congress must stand up for American manufacturing and put an end to the trade war being waged against the working families and communities. Our country needs to create millions of good jobs now. We can no longer afford to be passive in the face of these illegal job-killing practices.