Brown Backing Currency Protection Bill

Jun 7, 2013

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is co-sponsoring legislation designed to to better protect businesses from foreign currency manipulation.

Bill Rice of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Brown and many lawmakers from both parties have long complained that China strategically undervalues its currency, allowing it to undercut the price of American goods both here and in China.  He and other cosponsors have reintroduced a bill that passed the Senate last year with broad support but was never taken up in the house. 

BROWN:  “The legislation establishes new criteria for the Treasury Department to identify countries that game their currency, that mis-aligns their currency and triggers tougher consequences for those who engage in such unfair trade practices.”

The government can always investigate whether countries are undervaluing their currency and take action when they are, but has only done so in a few select cases, Brown says.  The bill would require the government to act on all requests it receives to investigate. 

Ohio’s Republican Senator Rob Portman is also behind the measure, and Brown believes it will again easily pass the Senate.  He says now that the distraction of the presidential election is past it stands a better chance in the House this year.