·  USW

USW Statement on Senate Vote for China Currency Bill

Swift action sought in U.S. House; American jobs and manufacturing to benefit

Contact:  Gary Hubbard,  202-256-8125; ghubbard@usw.org
              Wayne Ranick, 412-562-2444; wranick@usw.org

Pittsburgh (Oct. 11) – Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) issued the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted to pass the bi-partisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 (S.1619). This bill provides sanctions on China or other nations for currency manipulation.

“The USW applauds the U.S. Senate for its vigorous debate today and stepping up to the plate for American workers and manufacturing. The legislation addresses the economic damage being done by China and others who purposely undervalue their currencies.

“The Senate currency reform act will put our nation on a sustainable path for economic growth and rebalancing our massive trade and federal budget deficits.

“Our nation is facing an economic crisis and China has declared a trade war on Americans who are struggling to recover from high unemployment, home foreclosures, static wages and benefits. Currency manipulation by foreign governments – particularly China – has swamped American workers in the past decade. More than six million manufacturing jobs and 57,000 manufacturing plants have disappeared forever.

“Now the bill requires swift action in the U.S. House where more than 225 members – a majority -- are on record in support of this proposed law. Our USW members will be just as vigorous in calling on the House to once again vote as they did last fall on legislation to curb currency manipulation. The House Republican leadership should allow the members to vote their conscience, as they have promised in the past. We then need an immediate signing of this legislation into law by President Obama.”

Last week, the USW transmitted a letter to the full Senate advocating an affirmative vote. The entire letter is available here.

The USW represents 850,000 members and is the largest private sector union in North America, representing workers in a wide range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, plus office, technical and service workers. For more information: www.usw.org.

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