Mar 28 2006

Graham and Schumer Announce Delay of Vote on Chinese Currency Bill

WASHINGTON -- After returning from a week long visit to China to evaluate the Chinese government’s willingness to freely float its currency, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Charles Schumer (D-New York) today announced that they would agree to delay a vote on their Chinese currency bill to no later than September 29 and, if the pace of currency reform slows before that date, the Senators would be able to call their bill up for a vote sooner. The Senators also met today with Treasury Secretary John Snow to discuss their visit to China and their pending legislation. “China’s currency is undervalued and this hurts American manufacturing,” said Graham. “The three percent revaluation since our bill was introduced is a good start, but I’m not totally convinced it represents real reform. My message to the Chinese was the status quo is devastating to American manufacturers and they need to embrace reform by over time allowing their currency to float. The small progress we have seen needs to continue. I’m willing to abandon the need for tariffs if the Chinese embark on real reform. We’re not there yet.” “We came back from China with a real feeling that the Chinese realized that pegging their currency is not only bad for America, but bad for China as well,” Schumer said. “We hope there will be real movement in the coming months.” During their trip, the Senators visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong and met with key government and financial leaders. The Schumer-Graham legislation allows for a 180-day negotiation period between the United States and China on currency revaluation; and, if the negotiations are not successful, a temporary across the board tariff of 27.5 percent will be applied to all Chinese products entering the United States. The bill received 67 votes on a procedural vote last April. ######