October 11, 2011

U.S. Senate Passes Legislation to Support Manufacturing Jobs

RI Senator Whitehouse Cosponsored Bill to Crack Down on Chinese Currency Manipulation

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today passed bipartisan legislation to crack down on unfair currency manipulation by China and other nations.  The bipartisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), supports American manufacturing jobs by giving the Administration new tools to combat currency manipulation.  It passed by a vote of 63-35.

“Today we took a critical step toward putting a stop to this practice and leveling the playing field for Rhode Island manufacturers,” said Whitehouse.  “This legislation sends a message to China and other nations that the United States will no longer be taken advantage of, and that we will stand up for our workers.  I applaud my colleagues for passing this important bipartisan bill.”Video: Cracking Down on Chinese Currency Manipulation

By intentionally undervaluing their currency, China and other nations are able to lower the cost of their goods while making American products more costly for foreign consumers.  This hurts American manufacturers and kills jobs.  In fact, since 2001, nearly 12,000 jobs have been eliminated or displaced in Rhode Island due to our nation’s trade deficit with China.

The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act would improve oversight of currency exchange rates, establish criteria to identify misaligned currencies, and require the Department of Commerce to investigate instances of currency undervaluation if requested by American business.  It would also impose tough consequences for nations that are found to intentionally manipulate their currency and trigger additional penalties for countries that fail to correct currency undervaluation.

Addressing unfair currency manipulation is a central part of Whitehouse’s “Making It in Rhode Island” plan to support manufacturing jobs, which he announced in January this year.  He has also introduced legislation to end tax giveaways to companies that ship jobs overseas as part of that plan.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921