Included in Conference Report for Customs Enforcement Bill
Washington, D.C. - The Senate today passed Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet's measure to crack down on countries like China that unfairly weaken their currency. The measure was included in a conference report for a bill to strengthen our country's enforcement of trade agreements.
"Colorado businesses and workers are right to be concerned that countries like China are manipulating the market and undercutting their hard work," Bennet said. "Currency manipulators illegally make overseas goods cheaper and exports from Colorado less attractive on the global markets. Our measure puts in place strong tools that allows the United States to fight back, including keeping countries that manipulate their currency out of future trade agreements."
Bennet initially secured his bipartisan amendment to combat currency manipulation during the Senate Finance Committee's debate of the bill. The amendment, introduced with Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), allows the United States to take stronger actions to enforce rules against currency manipulation from countries such as China, including barring a violator from participating in future trade agreements.
Specifically, it requires extensive bilateral engagement with a country found to be improperly interfering with its currency markets. If that country fails to adopt appropriate currency valuation policies within a year, it lays out specific remedial actions that can be taken to punish these countries - including blocking them from future free trade agreements and restricting their access to the U.S. financing and market opportunities. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has said that Bennet's measure will help our government effectively enforce the joint declaration on unfair currency practices that was secured along-side the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), eliminating currency manipulation could help create up to 95,000 jobs in Colorado and up to 5.8 million nationwide. It would also help reduce the U.S. trade deficit up to $500 billion and increase GDP by up to 4.9 percent. EPI also estimates that Colorado has lost 59,000 jobs from 2001 through 2013 due to its trade deficit with China.