press release

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe and U.S. Representative Don Manzullo, Chairs of the Senate and House Small Business Committees, introduced legislation in the Senate and House that combats ongoing foreign currency manipulation, an unfair trade practice that puts American businesses, particularly manufacturers, at a competitive disadvantage with China and other nations.

The Fair Currency Practices Act of 2005 (S. 984 and H.R. 2208) would strengthen the tools the U.S. Treasury Department uses to a) formally designate offending countries as currency manipulators; and b) enter into negotiations to force offending nations to live up to their international obligations and stop undervaluing their currencies.

‘As a Senator from a state with a rich manufacturing tradition that has experienced numerous job losses in recent years, I am keenly aware of the impact that the unscrupulous trade practices of China and other nations have had on our manufacturing sector,’ said Snowe. ‘Countries that manipulate their currencies pose a substantial threat to our nation?s manufacturing base, and clearly it?s time that we force them to play by the rules. American manufacturers – who are integral to our economic security and national defense – needlessly struggle to compete with countries that disregard their international obligations. Our legislation is one important step on the path of corrective action.’

Manzullo added, “All nations, most particularly China, must let the free markets determine the value of their currency, not use government resources to artificially depress the value of their currency to boost their economic growth. This scheme costs U.S. manufacturers billions of dollars in lost exports and decreased market share in the U.S. each year while putting American workers on the unemployment lines. Americans stand ready to compete with anyone in the world. But the competition must be fair. The legislation Senator Snowe and I introduced today will give our government the tools necessary to hold all nations of the world accountable for currency manipulation, including China, and level the playing field for our workers.”

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