Rep. Michaud Joins New Push To Curb Currency Manipulation

Office of Rep. Mike Michaud WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), Chairman of the House Trade Working Group, announced that he will help lead efforts in the House of Representatives to force countries like China that manipulate their currency to play by the rules. A new report says action on this issue could create as many as 2.25 million American jobs, enough to increase total U.S. employment by 1.6%. Michaud helped introduce a bill earlier this year called the “Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act,” which would arm the U.S. with the tools it needs to crack down on countries that manipulate their currencies to keep their imports to the U.S. artificially cheap. A discharge petition, which requires the signature of 218 members of Congress to force a vote on the House floor, has been filed on the bill, and Michaud has signed up to lead efforts to build support for the measure. “Why House leadership hasn’t brought this bill up for a vote is beyond me,” said Michaud, who helped usher the bill through the House on September 29, 2010 by vote of 348-79. “It passed by a wide, bipartisan margin and would create hundreds of thousands of jobs. There has never been a better time to vote on this bill than now. Unemployment remains unacceptably high, and many Americans are worried about their future. I strongly urge House and Senate leaders to bring it to the floor immediately. Our economic recovery and growth depends on it.” China’s currency manipulation has a direct impact on the bottom-line of U.S. industries, including Maine’s paper industry. The “Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act,” would clarify that U.S. trade remedies – specifically countervailing duties, which are commonly known as tariffs – can be used to address significant currency undervaluation that results in injury to U.S. businesses. Under the legislation, these duties can be applied when the U.S. Department of Commerce weighs all of the relevant facts and decides on that basis that the necessary legal requirements have been met.