Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Treasury released its semi-annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies on Thursday. This was the 13th opportunity under the Obama administration for Treasury to name China a currency manipulator – an opportunity it passed on by not citing China or Japan for currency manipulation.
Commented Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul:
“The Treasury's artful utilization of rhetoric is a good reminder that its words have failed to affect change in the past. Currency manipulators must be named and action must be taken. This report reinforces the need for enforceable currency disciplines in the TPP and within our own trade laws. Imports are surging, factory workers are being laid off, and manufacturing looks to be weakening. American jobs are on the line, but the Obama administration seems content to sit on the sidelines. Our workers deserve better.”
Treasury has noted some of these factors in the past and pressed our trading partners on their policies. But with this report, their words appear empty and without force once again.
- The U.S. dollar has appreciated sharply—13.6 percent since June 2014—boosting imports of manufactured goods and hampering the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
- China’s RMB is 2.53 percent weaker against the U.S. dollar than it was in January 2014, feeding the record $342 billion U.S.-China goods trade deficit last year, which rose by $24 billion from the previous year.
- China is not alone in its market distortions. Government officials in Japan pursued efforts to weaken the yen, which is 14.32 percent weaker against the U.S. dollar since January 2014.