Resolution would urge Obama to cite China as a currency manipulator
TIFFANY L. PARKS
Special to the Legal News
Published: June 13, 2012
If signed into law, House Resolution 384 would urge President Barack Obama to cite China as a currency manipulator.
The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Mike Dovilla, R-Berea, states that China’s currency has been tightly pegged to the U.S dollar and that its government has “significantly intervened in foreign exchange markets in order to hold the value of their currency within its tight and artificial trading band, resulting in enormous grown in China’s dollar reserves.”
In offering sponsor testimony for HR 384, Dovilla said one of the primary areas of public policy focus during this General Assembly has been restoring an environment for job creation in Ohio.
“But in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, one of our strategic adversaries is not working with that same goal in mind for the hard-working citizens of our great state,” he said.
“According to the Economic Policy Institute, over the past decade unfair trade practices originating in the People’s Republic of China have resulted in the loss of over 103,000 Ohio jobs — almost 70 percent in the manufacturing field, one of our state’s top sources of jobs.”
Dovilla said that from Cleveland’s suburbs to the Mahoning Valley, small businesses have been forced to lay off workers and close their doors for good.
“This is not because our workers lack the skills to compete internationally, but rather because they are not allowed to do business on a level playing field,” he said.
“Automation Tool & Die, a small, family-run business in Brunswick, lost a $1 million contract in 2009 to provide the seat base for long-haul trucks because China’s currency manipulation allowed a Chinese competitor to underbid by 20 percent, according to co-owner Bill Bennett.”
Dovilla went on to say that Industrial Machining & Design Services, a manufacturing company in Youngstown, was forced out of competition in the production of component parts for Tier I automobile suppliers after being unable to fairly compete with Chinese imports.
“These are but two examples and there are dozens more small businesses across Ohio that have been similarly harmed by Chinese monetary policies designed to undercut fair trade,” he said. “Last year, President Obama refused to use the authority of his office to cite China for its blatant currency manipulation. In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives has not brought to the floor … the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 — bipartisan legislation passed by the U.S. Senate.”
Dovilla said he’s long been a proponent of free markets and fair trade and believes that the federal government must enforce U.S. trade laws against illegal imports and currency manipulation and “help American companies fight unfair trade from nations like China.”
“While we cannot solve this problem through exclusive action by this legislature, calling on Washington is an important first step that will provide additional tools to guarantee a level playing field in international trade — a fair environment that is necessary for our state’s small businesses to put Ohioans back to work,” he said.
HR 384 has been reported out of the House State Government and Elections committee.
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