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Tonelson and Kearns: House Ways and Means will consider filing a China currency complaint with WTO
Alan Tonelson and Kevin L. Kearns have an interesting commentary in The Hill today (WTO Myths Blocking China Currency) in which they report that the House Ways and Means Committee will consider punting the ball to the WTO during their hearings on Chinese currency manipulations tomorrow. Tonelson and Kearns write:
The paramountcy of politics undercuts a second big WTO myth befogging U.S. China policy: The view that Washington should tackle currency manipulation multilaterally, by filing a WTO suit, as the House Ways and Means Committee has promised to explore at its hearing. This option, however, ignores the unmistakable nature of the organization’s politics. Although the WTO’s 150-plus members don’t agree on much, they strongly agree that growing largely by wracking up big trade surpluses with the United States is a demonstrably successful economic strategy. Therefore, they have aimed to keep America’s markets much wider open to their goods than their own markets are to America’s.
If the House Ways and Means Committee members vote to punt the ball to the WTO instead of voting out a bill that would fight currency manipulation, they will be voting for unemployment, depression, giving away American industry, and giving away our children's future. We agree with Tonelson and Kearns recommendation. They argue:
After eight years of complaints about currency manipulation, Congress must take China policy out of procedural and legal limbo and deal with substance. If legislators believe China’s currency manipulation is damaging America’s economy for reasons completely unrelated to market forces and that to counter this transgression is imperative, they should support a floor vote on strong responses — especially the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378), which Ways and Means also has promised to examine, and its Senate counterpart, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Act (S. 3134). If legislators believe China’s currency manipulation is acceptable, or less important than other benefits they perceive from current U.S.-China relations, they should oppose such measures.
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