AISI Comments on Delay of the Administration’s Currency Decision

Washington, D.C., 4/5/2010 - AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s announcement that it would delay a decision on whether to declare China a currency manipulator, which had been expected by April 15.

“AISI is disappointed that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has once again side-stepped his obligation to address China’s currency manipulation as mandated by law.  The Congress directed Treasury to issue a report twice a year identifying those countries manipulating their currencies in order to allow for orderly negotiations to address this unfair trade practice.  In the case of China, there is a broad consensus among economists that China is acting to artificially suppress the value of its currency, giving an effective export subsidy to Chinese goods in markets around the world and putting U.S. exports at an unfair competitive disadvantage.  Yet, Treasury has repeatedly refused to identify China as a currency manipulator.  Acknowledging this consensus view would allow for honest negotiations with the Chinese government to remove this significant impediment to U.S. exports and create needed jobs in this country.
The Administration needs to act now to make it clear to China that the status quo is unacceptable.  In accordance with existing statutory requirements, the Treasury Department should be moving forward now on serious negotiations with China, and the Commerce Department should be treating Chinese currency policy for what it is – an export subsidy that is subject to countervailing duty law. At the same time, the Congress should enact as soon as possible an effective trade remedy tool to deal with this problem of fundamental currency misalignment.  American manufacturers and their workers are being injured by this unfair practice.  We cannot continue to give China and other governments a pass on this critical issue.”

Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115