Categorized | China, Currency, Politics

Romney Etch-A-Sketching On China Currency


Reposted from Campaign for America’s Future


Romney Etch-A-Sketching On China Currency

Dave Johnson  |  June 15, 2012  |  Campaign for America’s Future

Yesterday in Ohio candidate Mitt Romney said he would clamp down on China’s currency manipulation. Today he is still not asking the House Republicans to bring the China currency bill up for a vote. Mr. Romney has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and put his actions where his campaign words are — or not. He can ask Republicans in the House to vote on the bill to do something about the problem - or not.

The Currency Manipulation Issue

China has been manipulating its currency rate, keeping it as much as 30% below market value. This means that things made in China cost as much as 30% less than things made elsewhere. This is 30% before taking into account the various subsidies China gives to companies manufacturing in China, or how China allows companies to pollute freely. This gives them a competitive advantage in world markets, and lures our own companies to outsource their manufacturing to China. And it contributes to our dramatic, huge, bloodsucking trade deficit that drains hundreds of billions of dollars a year out of our economy.

Steven Capozzola explained in Why Should Congress Pass China Currency Legislation?,

What few seem to understand is that we are already in a trade war with China. It’s not one that we launched, nor one that we wanted. But China’s undervaluation of its currency, which violates world trade rules, is part of a deliberate, well-coordinated strategy to undercut U.S. manufacturers.

… How did this happen? China intervenes in the currency market to buy dollars and set its own currency at an artificially low exchange rate. This makes Chinese goods 40% cheaper when entering the U.S. market while making our goods significantly more costly when exported to China.

… This is a bipartisan issue, one that marks a clear chance for Congress to stand up to a very protectionist, predatory campaign. China can purchase dollars, which are freely traded, in order to set its currency peg. But conversely, it is illegal to buy China’s closely held currency.

The Currency Bill And Discharge Petition

To address this (and other) currency manipulation the Senate passed a bill requiring our government to act against countries that manipulate their currency.This bill is waiting for the House to act because Speaker Boehner will not allow it to come to the floor for a vote.

The House has a procedure for forcing a bill to come to the floor when House leadership is blocking a vote. This is called a Discharge Petition. If enough Representatives sign a discharge petition it must be brought up for a vote. There are 67* Republican members of the House of Representatives who co-sponsored legislation to confront China over their currency manipulation: Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (HR639). If enough of them sign the discharge petition it has to be voted on, and it will pass.

From 61 House Republicans Co-Sponsored China Currency Bill, Now Side With China,

61 House Republicans … had co-sponsored the China currency bill, but who now side with China by refusing to help force a vote on the bill. The bill has passed the Senate and Republican leaders are refusing to allow a vote in the House. This bill means jobs. This bill means confronting China over their trade cheating. Call these members of Congress and demand that they side with American workers instead of China.

[. . .] The Club For Growth, a Wall Street front-group that backs China’s positions on these issues, has demanded that Republicans side with China on this, and has called it a “litmus test.” One Republican who actually did sign the discharge petition to force the House to vote, Harold Rogers, was forced by House leadership to remove his name!

Romney’s Etch-A-Sketch On Currency

At campaign stop after campaign stop Mitt Romney says that he will crack down on China’s currency manipulation on his first day in office. Yet he has an opportunity to do something about it right now. Romney has the opportunity right now to demonstrate that he will live up to his words. He can ask Speaker Boehner to bring the currency bill to the floor of the House for a vote. And he can ask Republicans in Congress to sign a discharge petition to bring up for a vote a currency manipulation bill that 61 of them co-sponsored. It is his own party that is holding this up.

So it this another Etch-A-Sketch or does Romney really mean what he says about China’s currency manipulation. He can show us right now.


9 Responses to “Romney Etch-A-Sketching On China Currency”

  1. Bob Hall says:

    Thank you, Sara. With all due respect and appreciation:

    “When you hear people complain about China’s ‘currency manipulation,’ remember that everyone making money on U.S. imports, which totaled $238.6 billion in March alone — beginning with the multinational corporations and banks that control our politics and media — makes more money when China keeps the US$ high. China accomplishes this largely by purchasing our Treasury securities — so we can add ‘American politicians’ to our eye-opening list of China currency manipulation fans. Even American consumers, it should now be evident, are bewitched, if unknowingly, by China’s currency manipulation: overpriced real estate and underpriced consumer goods. The well-intentioned patriots lobbying against China’s clearly criminal currency manipulation have less chance of succeeding than I do of winning this November’s election; but I admire their efforts, if misapplied (they should focus on tariffs), and generally believe that they, like me, are doing whatever they can to help our country.”

    -from my recent essay, “Learn about life in China before you choose it for your children.”

  2. Tom T says:

    Republicans are playing the political game with our nation’s economy. They will not accept any movement forward on correcting problems all agree on for fear that it will be a “win” for the current president. In this, the current republican leadership is playing a game of “chicken” with the economy with a twist. Instead of the normal game of chicken where one car races towards another testing the nerve of a potential disaster, the republicans are not driving their car, they are just controlling the car (the economy) that the nation’s economy depends upon. They see any crash as a potential win for them they can use in the campaign to “change” direction they themselves are unwilling to change while playing political chicken with the economy.

    It is putting political party before country and it borders on treason.

    Tom T.

  3. Arthur Taylor says:

    I have great doubts about Romney’s intentions. He made his money, not as an individual who created a product or a service, but as a manipulator of the fruits of those who were the creators. He made his money by cutting, firing, cheapening, outsourcing, manipulating, etc., etc.

    I know that it was standard practice for Bain Capitol to buy a company and then turn around and have them move their production offshore. I know that Romney’s base is the super rich. I doubt he’ll do anything to reverse the current situation as he will be focused on contraction and cutting rather than building and growing. I don’t think he’ll focus on the orders that drive the business of America.

    I’m not voting for Obama either because he’ll do nothing either. Again, another election with no choice.

    • Joe Brooks says:

      Romney makes no attempt to hide his anti-American and probably unconstitutional agenda:

      “•Switch to a territorial tax system”

      The Founders made regionalism illegal, it destroys countries. The reason you pay no tariffs between states. This is picking winners and losers and would certainly qualify as central planning, along the lines of India and Red China.

      “Open markets have helped make America powerful and prosperous. Indeed, they have been one of the keys to our economic success since the country was founded.”

      Blatant lie, he ignores the American School and the tariffs of 1789 to 1970. It is true that Americans tried to promote the American School throughout the rest of the world for many decades, Japan is a prime example.

      “Mitt Romney believes that free trade is essential to restoring robust economic growth and creating jobs.”

      Just doing more economic/actual colonization of the US is not going to help, obviously.

      “At the same time that unskilled workers are able to come here illegally, we do not grant enough visas to high-skill job creators and innovators seeking to come here legally.

      While lawful immigrants comprise about 8 percent of the population, immigrants start 16 percent of our top-performing, high-technology companies, hold the position of CEO or lead engineer in 25 percent of high-tech firms, and produce over 25 percent of all patent applications filed from the United States.”

      1.8 million American citizen engineers and STEM folks out of work. Here he proves that many other countries are intentionally colonizing the US thru an active program of financing the purchase of struggling American firms and starting up low paying competitors to those hanging on. They are struggling because 150 other nations practice protectionism, while the US refuses to compete in the real world of harshly Protectionist International Trade.

      “Maintain Robust Military Capabilities in the Pacific”

      Ridiculous and naive. We are dependent on Red China for too much of our military and commercial hardware. With the proven logic bombs and counterfeit processors, BIOS, chipsets and other issues that are scattered thru US computing caopacity, a realistic replacement program of American made components must be implemented ASAP.

      The list goes on, just as Marx and many others literally published what their plans were, most people do not bother to read these manifestos.

  4. Bruce Bishop says:

    So - we are all agreed that Romney should somehow force the Republicans in the House to pass an anti-currency manipulation bill? This would allow Obama to suddenly “crack down” on China and would assure us of four more years of Obama? How could Romney be so selfish?

    I recall a candidate Obama who promised to “focus like a laser beam” on jobs. For two years, Obama’s party had both houses of Congress. Obama did exactly JACK SQUAT about stopping the flow of jobs to China, much less bringing them back. Now, suddenly, Mitt Romney is the problem. Give me a break!

  5. Bruce Bishop says:

    Does anyone remember when John Kerry was running for President in 2004. Senator Kerry kept telling us about his “secret plan” to create TEN MILLION NEW JOBS.

    Do you suppose that Senator Kerry, perhaps out of bitterness at not getting elected, is going to take that “secret plan” to his grave? I don’t recall anyone in the media calling him out on that one.

  6. The 4+ decades of unresponsiveness to the U.S. trade deficit, especially the last decade and a half is reflective in the wisdom expressed in the following two quotes by Felix Frankfurter, associate, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court 1939 – 1962:

    “The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes.”

    “All our work, our whole life is a matter of semantics, because words are the tools with which we work, the material out of which laws are made, out of which the Constitution was written. Everything depends on our understanding of them.”

    Among those exercising power, behind the scenes, are the trio of puppet masters, i.e. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), The Club for Growth and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They have played “fast and loose” with many the terms, among them, competitiveness and growth. In these cases the semantics that Frankfurter refers to, is the global and capital markets competitiveness/growth that this trio have in mind, but don’t clarify, and the domestic competitiveness and growth that the trio wants its listeners to here.

    • Tom T says:

      All of our trade deficits, our loss in “competitiveness”, our budget deficits, and all the other things that are destroying the middle class and our economy are here because politicians are making the rules of the game so that these things happen. It isn’t right or left, it is just poor management by the majority of our political leaders who know so little about economics that many of them followed Phil Gramm over the proverbial hill.

      As Hugh says, the puppet masters have a lot to work with when it comes to politicians and I guess this sentiment isn’t new, again, with Hugh’s quote as evidence.

      We have a bunch of political leaders who like to blame each other and get away with governing very poorly. The Chinese are out competing us because we allow the rules to be gamed by them. We are dismantling the middle class, again, because that is where the rules set forth by our politicians leads us. A majority of 454 House members, 100 Senators, and 1 President and a court system that is just as bad is causing the problems with the rules they set. It isn’t some natural force, it is more often than not politicians who are either incompetent or corrupt leading us down this path we find ourselves on. It can be changed but there seems to be little alarm in our elected officials and the power bases they thrive off of so it probably will not change until more pain is felt that causes action.

      What a way to run a country. What failures we have as political leaders writing the rules that give us these results.

      Tom T.

  7. Arthur Taylor says:

    The first line on Mitt Romney’s trade issues page on his campaign website is as follows:

    “Open markets have helped make America powerful and prosperous. Indeed, they have been one of the keys to our economic success since the country was founded. Approximately 95 percent of the world’s consumers live beyond our borders, and selling our world-class products and services to them is the next great frontier for economic growth. The fewer the barriers to cross-border commerce, the more economic growth we enjoy and the greater the number of American jobs brought into being.”

    This is pure Orwellian Newspeak… Or, maybe it’s just revisionist history… Or, maybe it’s just an outright lie.


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