Romney's Right, We Need a China Policy Fairer to the U.S.

Thomas J. Gibson, CEO and president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, responds to an editorial from The Wall Street Journal, "Romney's China Blunder" (Sept. 17), with a letter to the editor.

Link here to view the original editorial (paid subscription required).

Romney's Right, We Need a China Policy Fairer to the U.S.

Mitt Romney's promise to designate China as a currency manipulator is no blunder. Rather, he exhibits a clear understanding of the severe damage that China's protectionist policies continue to wreak on America's economy and workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, illegal currency manipulation is a major cause of the rapidly growing and completely unsustainable U.S. trade deficit with China, which has cost the U.S. 2.8 million jobs over the past decade.

Free trade cannot exist if we allow nations, such as China, to blatantly violate World Trade Organization rules and U.S. trade laws by greatly undervaluing its currency so it can maintain a 25%-30% subsidy for its exports. With 16% of Americans unemployed or underemployed, and given the role of China's unfair trade practices in our jobs crisis, declaring China a currency manipulator and passing legislation to address such manipulation are essential steps to help level the playing field with countries that do not play by the rules. This is a prudent and a WTO-consistent trade policy that is squarely in the national interest.

Thomas J. Gibson

President and CEO

American Iron and Steel Institute