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October 12, 2011

10/13/11 Wednesday, Congressman Joe Donnelly sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor asking for a vote on Senate-passed, bipartisan legislation that would counteract the Chinese government’s refusal to fairly value their currency. 

“My question for those who continue to stand in the way of responding to China’s currency manipulation is: what else do you need to hear before you finally stand up for American businesses and workers?” asked Donnelly.  “I have been a longtime advocate of leveling the playing field for Hoosier businesses, and making sure Chinese goods aren’t on permanent sale is one way to do this.  I sent a letter to House Republican leadership today because I think it’s time for the House to do what the Senate did last night: take bipartisan action in support of the American economy.”

The Senate passed The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, S. 1619, by a bipartisan vote of 63 to 35 yesterday evening.  Donnelly sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor this morning asking for a vote in the House on this bill, citing bipartisan support for this effort in the past.  Donnelly is a co-sponsor of similar legislation in the House, The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, H.R. 639, which has 225 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.  A similar bill passed the House last year with support from both Republicans and Democrats, 348 to 79.  Read Donnelly’s letter here.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the Joint Economic Committee.  Responding to a question on Chinese currency manipulation, he said, “I think that right now, a concern is that the Chinese currency policy is blocking what might be a more normal recovery process in the global economy…and so it is, to some extent hurting the recovery process.  So it is certainly a negative.”  Watch Chairman Bernanke’s testimony here.

In September, The Economic Policy Institute released a study showing that between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. lost 2.8 million jobs, including nearly 62,000 jobs in Indiana, due to the expanding trade deficit with China.  To read the Economic Policy Institute’s report, click here.