Ohio hit hard by U.S.-China trade imbalance
In the past decade, the U.S. manufacturing sector has been hurt by the unfair trade practices of China. Studies have shown that as many as 2.8 million jobs nationwide have been lost due to China’s mercantilist trade policies, including the severe undervaluation of its currency, the yuan.
Ohio is a state that has been especially hard-hit. According to a recent article by the Dayton Daily News:
“The number of manufacturing operations in Ohio fell 18 percent from 19,697 to 16,159 over the past 10 years. That has led to the loss of 369,097 jobs in Ohio since 2001.”
In an attempt to reverse this trend, Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Robert Portman (R) recently came together with Senators from both sides of the aisle to champion the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, which provides recourse for American manufacturers – like those in Ohio – to address China’s detrimental currency manipulation. The bill passed by a vote of 63-35.
The legislation now moves to the House, where more than half of the Ohio delegation – including Democratic and Republican members – have signed on to the House version of the bill, H.R. 639, as cosponsors.
There has already been evidence that such recourse would have a positive effect on the manufacturing sector in Ohio:
"[Senator Sherrod] Brown said new tariffs have created good Ohio jobs, citing a 2010 International Trade Commission ruling against Chinese dumping on behalf of Ohio seamless steel tube producers. The tariffs allowed a manufacturer to build a $650 million plant in Youngstown, creating more than 400 good-paying permanent jobs, one of the state’s few employment bright spots.”
AAM hopes that House Speaker Boehner, also from Ohio, will allow H.R. 639 to come to a vote, giving American manufacturers the chance to establish a level playing field with China. As Moraine, Ohio City Manager Dave Hicks put it:
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