(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

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[Page H6863]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         CURRENCY MANIPULATORS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Indiana (Mr. Donnelly) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. DONNELLY of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the 
bipartisan majority in the Senate for passing legislation to take on 
currency manipulators, and to urge our House of Representatives and our 
House Republican leadership to do the same--to allow a stand-alone, up-
or-down vote on currency manipulation legislation--here in the House of 
Representatives. In a period of congressional gridlock, we must seize 
every bipartisan opportunity available to us not only to create jobs, 
but also to protect the good-paying jobs we already have.
  As the Senate demonstrated this week by passing the Currency Exchange 
Rate Oversight Reform Act, the time is now to take advantage of 
bipartisan cooperation. Sixteen Republican Senators joined 47 
Democratic Senators in voting for this legislation to counter an unfair 
trade practice that is hampering our economic recovery.
  In February, Congressman Sander Levin, Tim Ryan, and Tim Murphy 
introduced the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. H.R. 639 has 
garnered 225 bipartisan cosponsors, more than enough secure House 
passage. This would allow the Department of Commerce to counter imports 
made cheaper by currency manipulation with a corresponding tariff. A 
nearly identical bill passed the House of Representatives last year by 
a strong, overwhelming bipartisan vote of 348-79, both Republicans and 
  When countries are allowed to keep the value of their currencies 
artificially low and, in turn, the prices of their exports into the 
United States, American companies and American workers face an unfair 
disadvantage. Forced to compete on an unlevel playing field where 
competitors are able to maintain a permanent 30 to 40 percent-off sale 
on their products, American jobs are lost and our trade deficit grows 
with countries like China.
  The Economic Policy Institute recently released the study, and it 
showed that in the last 10 years the U.S. lost 2.8 million jobs, 
including nearly 62,000 jobs in my home State of Indiana as a result 
directly of the expanding trade deficit with China. Many experts agree: 
Countries like China that manipulate their currencies are damaging the 
U.S. economy.
  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke recently expressed concern ``that the 
Chinese currency policy is blocking what might be a more normal 
recovery process in the global economy,'' and he stated that ``it is to 
some extent hurting the recovery.''
  Chairman Bernanke is tasked directly with the responsibilities of 
serving and protecting America's economic interests. He recognizes the 
impact that Chinese currency manipulation is having on our economy. It 
is long past time for this House of Representatives to do the same.

                              {time}  1030

  After the Senate expressed interest in considering S. 1619, China 
immediately went on the offensive, issuing threats and saying such 
legislation could spark a trade war. Though China's comments are 
disappointing, they are not unexpected, and Congress should not shy 
away from doing what is in America's best interests. That is our job. 
China's unfair currency policies have cost millions of Americans their 
jobs, and I believe inaction on this issue is dangerous to our economic 
recovery and continues to put at risk hundreds of thousands of 
additional American jobs.
  When I travel around my district, I hear from small businesses and 
manufacturers on this issue. And they never ask for Congress to 
guarantee their success. All they want is a fair fight, for the rules 
to be the same. And I believe given a level playing field, American 
businesses will win every single time.
  Once again, to our House leadership, please allow bipartisan 
legislation addressing currency manipulation to come before the full 
House of Representatives for a standalone, up-or-down vote. Who are you 
going to stand with, the Chinese government or American businesses and 
American workers? The American people want a vote now and deserve a 
vote now.