Schumer, Graham Delay Vote On Chinese Currency Bill

Date: June 30, 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Monetary Policy


U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary John Snow on China trade policy, in particular the Schumer-Graham China Currency bill. The following are statements from Schumer, Snow, and groups thanking the lawmakers for delaying a final vote on their bill until the week before the adjournment of the first session of the 109th Congress (around October 2005).

Statement from Senator Chuck Schumer:

"Senator Graham and I believe that the overwhelming vote this past April by 67 Senators refusing to table the Schumer-Graham amendment seeking reform of the Chinese currency was instrumental in placing the issue of Chinese currency manipulation on the global radar screen. It showed that Congress is serious about making China play fair in the global trading market and finally reform their currency.

"China's pegging the yuan to the dollar creates an unfair playing field for U.S. and world manufacturers and traders. After talking with Secretary Snow and Chairman Greenspan a number of times over the last few months, including today, and I'm convinced we're making progress on this issue. As a result we want to show some flexibility in giving these new efforts between China and the United States a chance. Therefore, we have agreed to postpone the impending July vote on our legislation."

The Department of Treasury Secretary John Snow released the following statement:

"I appreciate the accommodation shown by Senators Graham and Schumer in agreeing to postpone a vote on the China tariff legislation. It is important that China move to a more flexible exchange rate regime, we have urged them to do so, and they have agreed that it is in their interest to adopt greater exchange rate flexibility. While it is in China's interest that they do so, it is also in the interest of the global adjustment process. I believe that our longstanding efforts are beginning to come to fruition and we are making progress toward achieving this goal. I appreciate the strong interest of Senators Graham and Schumer on this issue. Our cooperation with Congress can be constructive and I hope to continue to work with both Senators, and other Members, as we move forward."

The National Retail Federation released the following statement:

"Senators Schumer and Graham took a responsible step today in giving China more time to revalue its currency," said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin.


"We are pleased that Senators Schumer and Graham have agreed to delay the vote on their legislation to impose tariffs on imports from China unless China revalues its exchange rate.

"The USCBC shares the Senators' goal of China's adoption of a fully market-determined exchange rate when its financial reforms have progressed sufficiently to allow it to do so. The USCBC also believes that interim steps to introduce a more flexible exchange rate are appropriate. We also note that Chinese officials themselves have acknowledged that exchange rate reform is in China's best interests. We support the extensive efforts of the Treasury Department, other executive branch agencies, Congress, and our G7 partners to work with China on the implementation of a more flexible exchange rate policy.

"Now that the threat of punitive legislation has receded, we encourage China to move forward with sensible interim steps to introduce exchange rate flexibility."