The visit to Seattle by Chinese President Xi Jinping is a historic moment. Xi is known for his crackdown on corruption in the government and for opening up Chinese markets. Certainly, the discussions with business roundtable leaders here are geared toward creating more market opportunities in the country with the world’s largest population.
“Currency manipulation” is a term that describes the practice of a government intervening in foreign currency markets in order to change the value of its own currency to gain an advantage. For instance, a government can go into the foreign exchange market, flood it with its currency while buying up lots of foreign currency or foreign government debt.
China’s recent currency devaluation—by nearly 4% on Tuesday and Wednesday—provides further confirmation that the failure to include enforceable currency disciplines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership leaves a gaping hole in U.S. trade policy.
Last week I issued a statement on the importance of packaging the customs bill with Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance if senators actually were serious about strengthening U.S. trade enforcement.
In an extensive interview with Vox.com, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka outlines the labor movement’s fight against Fast Track, the flaws in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, the trade relationship between the United States and China and the shortcomings and negative impact on the middle class of the nation’s trade policy.
A bipartisan group of senators and representatives unveiled legislation Tuesday to clamp down on countries—like China—that cheat trade law by manipulating their currency. That cheating has cost millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs and is a major reason for the massive U.S. trade deficit.
If the United States acted forcefully to end currency manipulation by China and other nations—and there is legislation to provide the government the tools to do so—it could create as many as 5.8 million jobs (40% in manufacturing) and reduce the nation’s trade deficit by as much as 72.5%, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
China has long been known as the globe’s biggest currency manipulator. China undervalues its currency—the yuan or the renminbi— and that raises the price of U.S. exports and suppresses the price of Chinese imports into the United States. This artificial price advantage is a major factor that encourages U.S. businesses to shut down operations here and manufacture in China instead, costing the U.S. millions of manufacturing jobs and is a major reason for the massive U.S. trade deficit.