Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the China tariff legislation. Graham and Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) agreed to withdraw a vote on their 27.5 percent tariff legislation and agreed to work with the two ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), on legislation to be introduced in the 110th Congress.
Graham made this statement:
“After conferring with President Bush today, I’m convinced the Administration is committed to a strategy that will require China to reform its currency manipulation practices. President Bush made clear to me today that he would like to give Secretary Paulson time to negotiate with the Chinese. The President also made clear that he shares my goal of making China compete on a level playing field.
“Senator Schumer and I have agreed, at this time, to forego a vote on our tariff legislation. We also have agreed to work with Senators Grassley and Baucus on legislation in the 110th Congress addressing the issue if the Chinese do not move forward on currency reform. The legislation will be WTO compliant, have bite, and will become law if China continues down its current path.
“The tariff legislation, whose chance of becoming law was always close to zero, did serve a useful purpose. As a result of our efforts, the Chinese no longer peg their currency to the American dollar. They have also begun a process of small revaluations -- totaling about 4 percent -- to occur.
“More remains to be done and we will continue in our efforts to help American manufacturers compete on a level playing field.”