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Friday, July 25, 2014

Industry Groups Decry Federal Government’s Lack of China Action

Industry groups are upset that the federal government will not name China a currency manipulator. Credit: Jason Wesley Upton

During the election campaign, Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney often mentioned his intention to brand China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office. Although Governor Romney lost the election, many are still hoping the federal government makes such a move.

In an announcement yesterday, The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) disagreed with the Treasury Department’s decision to criticize Chinese currency practices while not labeling the country a currency manipulator. These sentiments echo many machinists and manufacturing goods exporters, who claim Chinese durable goods are unfairly competitive due to devalued Chinese currency.

The organizations noted that the Treasury Department’s latest “Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies” describes Chinese currency (RMB) as remaining “significantly undervalued, and that further appreciation of the RMB against the dollar and other major currencies its warranted.” However, China is not named a manipulator.

“We are disappointed that the Obama Administration refused to name China a currency manipulator,” PMA president William E. Gaskin said in the announcement.  “Given the tough tone on China that we saw from both parties during this past election, we had hoped to see tougher action by the Administration on this issue.  Such a declaration by Treasury would have offered tangible, robust support to U.S. manufacturers.”

“Currency manipulation hurts small, middle-market U.S. manufacturers and their employees,” added NTMA president Dave Tilstone. “It makes it significantly more challenging for our members to successfully compete against products from China and in the global marketplace. We will continue to press the Obama Administration to take action on this important issue. The government should not continue to give China a pass on an issue that is so critical to the success of manufacturers in the U.S.”

Brian Lane

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