Categorized | Currency

Letter to Representative Camp from CPA


February 8, 2011

The Honorable Dave Camp, Chairman
Ways and Means Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

via email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Re:    Recent Currency Letter to Secretary Geithner and Ambassador Kirk

Dear Representative Camp:

We note that you and Senator Max Baucus have recently sent a January 31 letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Ambassador Ron Kirk regarding China’s currency manipulation.  In it, you ask that they use the upcoming WTO symposium to “discuss the role of exchange rate practices in trade policy.”

Certainly, we have no objection to such a discussion   Far from it. Our producer members,  who have suffered the injurious effective of mercantilist currency practices, have been discussing it for years with anyone who would listen.  Unfortunately, the Bush administration repeatedly refused to consider a Section 301 complaint that could have become a focal point for multilateral pressure on the mercantilists.  At different times, the head of the IMF and the head of the WTO have publicly said that they were not in a position to apply their organization’s rules to undervalued currencies.  The past two administrations have repeatedly raised the issues at bilateral meetings with the Chinese as well as G-8, G-20 and other multilateral meetings – all to no avail.

Given this unbroken record of fruitless diplomatic exchanges, it is hard to see any reason to expect much from another discussion in Geneva, particularly given the expectation that application of multilateral rules to the problem will not be discussed.

We remain convinced of two things.  First, the road to a multilateral solution runs through effective national action.  The application of WTO-consistent national trade remedies seems to be the most effective – and perhaps the only effective – tool at our disposal.  Second, injured American industries need a remedy from injurious currency practices now.  Forging and implementing a new international consensus will be an arduous process requiring substantial additional time and effort.  This is not an argument for not pursuing that objective but only to address first things first.

In 2010, you, your Committee and the House as a whole voted for a simple, surgical, WTO-consistent remedy.  That legislation has been reintroduced as The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2011 (HR 639).  The bill has support from a clear majority of current House members.  The Senate passed, in 2011, a bill (S. 1619) which includes similar provisions. The attachment shows hundreds of organizations and companies have requested a vote on currency reform.

We respectfully urge you to move H.R. 639 through your Committee and to the floor of the House as the best means of accelerating progress toward the eventual multilateral solution we all seek. You have the power to do that which you request from the Administration.

Very truly yours,

Michael C. Stumo, CEO

cc:     The Honorable Max Baucus (via email: [email protected])
The Honorable Orrin Hatch (via email: [email protected])
The Honorable Sander Levin (via email: [email protected])

encl:     Petition Supporting Currency Reform


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