WASHINGTON - September 30 - The Administration should accept the petition filed today by distinguished leaders in Congress to put an end to Chinas illegal manipulation of its currency, which has made Americas trade deficit unsustainable and our manufacturing job loss unbearable. We commend Representative Levin, Senator Schumer, and all those standing with them as they call on the Administration to put an end to this crisis.
Business and labor joined together earlier this month to ask the Administration to investigate and then take action to stop Chinas currency manipulation. Not only did the Administration reject the petitionthey refused to even read it. Here is their second chance.
There can be only one conclusion: China manipulates its currency. It violates its world trade obligations.
American workers and businesses have been devastated by Chinas action. We have lost almost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last three years alone. The extraordinary growth in our trade deficit is a key contributing factor to the loss of these vital middle-class jobs. Our deficit with China alone is growing by more than 20% a year and is on track to exceed $150 billion in 2004. We buy more than $5 worth of goods from China for every $1 we sell to China. This is now the single largest bilateral trade deficit in the history of the world.
The Chinese governments manipulation of its currency gives Chinese-based producers an additional unfair advantage of approximately 40%. This means that our exports to China are over-priced by 40%, while our imports from China are under-priced by the same amount. This is so far from a level playing fieldit is almost vertical.
We look forward to working with the Congress to level this playing field. It is rare to get a second chance. We hope the Administration will not squander it away.