USW Condemns Administration’s Position on China’s Currency Policies; Trump Voters Expect Him to Keep His Promises

Holly Hart (202) 778-4384,

The United Steelworkers (USW) today issued the following statement from International President Leo W. Gerard regarding statements made by President Trump in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. In the interview, President Trump said that his administration will not name China as a currency manipulator in the report scheduled to be released by the Treasury Department this week. During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Trump indicated that he would label China as a currency manipulator on “day one”:

“President Trump’s statement that his Administration will not label China as a currency manipulator raises serious questions about which campaign promises he intends to keep.   Countless times during the campaign, he said that he would label China as a currency manipulator on “day one”. Day one passed without any action and now almost 100 days into his Administration, when Treasury issues its legally required report on currency manipulation, it appears that China will get another pass.

“The President appears to be placating China to get them to help with the threat of North Korea in return for ignoring China’s economic attacks on the United States.  Appeasing and rewarding China is not the answer.  Dealing with North Korea is not only an international security problem; it is China’s problem as well.

“Time and time again, workers across this country have seen their economic interests traded away for foreign policy goals. As a candidate, Donald Trump criticized this approach, but now he seems to be following the same path that led to millions of lost jobs and trillions of dollars in trade deficits.

“China’s currency manipulation is now sharing center stage with foreign policy in the message delivered by the President’s comments yesterday. Business as usual appears to be infiltrating the policy approach of the Administration, and workers are still not interested in having their jobs used to incent China to help deal with the nuclear threat of North Korea.

“Overcapacity in steel, aluminum, tires and other critical sectors demands quick and resolute action. Dumping and subsidies are still ravaging our manufacturing sector. China’s cyberespionage is still rampant.  China has already been rewarded with millions of our jobs and tens of thousands of factories built at our expense. It’s time for a real change.  

“During last week’s meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi, we were told that there would be a 100-day plan to address trade problems with China. That must be a clear and comprehensive plan to dramatically alter the terms of trade.

“Following the election, the USW congratulated the President on his win and indicated that it would work with him where it could, and oppose him where it must.  In several actions taken by the Administration, we recognized some positive steps and are prepared to help to identify a path forward. But, this announcement on currency calls into question how far the Administration intends to go in forging a new approach on trade.  Voters expect the President to keep his promises.

“The President’s recent statements send a signal that he may be just another politician saying one thing to get elected and doing something else once in office.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. 

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