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Lost Jobs Due to Unfair Foreign Trade Practices, Like Currency Manipulation; Schumer Vows To Oppose A Trade Deal That Doesn’t Adequately Protect American Workers & Industry From Unjust Trade Practices Of Some Countries, Like China 

Schumer Says The Number One Issue Facing America Is Declining Middle-Class Incomes & Any Trade Deal Must Be Viewed Through The Lens Of How It Will Impact Middle-Class Incomes For Future Generations – Says Strong Measure To Address Foreign Currency Manipulation Is Needed Or TPA Deal Would Disregard Jobs & Middle Class 

Schumer: Proposed Trade Bill Does Not Help Middle-Class Workers and I Can’t Support Any Bill That Does Not Improve Their Economic Condition and Prospects

Today, on a conference call with reporters, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his opposition to the emerging trade deal because it will not help middle-class workers, and could result in yet another increase in the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Currently, Congress is debating legislation called the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), or also known as “fast-track,” which would allow certain trade agreement to be considered under expedited procedures. The Administration plans to finalize a trade agreement with 11 Asian and Pacific Rim countries, called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and plans for future administrations to finalize the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with the European Union, under expedited TPA procedures.

Schumer said that in the upcoming trade deal, the U.S. should be focusing on cracking down on trade cheaters like China, who manipulate their currencies to boost their exports and undercut American manufacturers. For this reason, during the call, Schumer explained his opposition to both the current TPA bill and the emerging TPP deal, which does not confront this issue. Schumer said he opposes these deals in their current form, in part, because they do not do enough to protect U.S. jobs and wages by cracking down on the countries that use predatory trade tactics, like systematically undervaluing currency. Schumer is instead strongly urging his colleagues in the Senate to support a bipartisan bill that would crack down on currency manipulation practice, like that practiced by China, and level the playing field for U.S. producers. Schumer will point to a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which shows that currency manipulation, and other self-interested Chinese trade practices, over the last decade, have resulted in the displacement of nearly 180,000 jobs across New York State. 

“The sad truth is that past trade deals have tended to undermine middle-class wages and spurred the export of family-supporting middle-class manufacturing jobs to nations that have lower wages and working standards. And I can’t support any new trade deal that does not improve the economic condition of middle-class workers, and this deal just does not meet that standard,” said Schumer. “I won’t support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal or the Trade Provision Authority legislation without strong, enforceable measures to hold China’s feet to the fire and make them accountable for their predatory trade practices. Instead of fast tracking a deal that could ship more American manufacturing jobs overseas, what we should be doing in trade legislation is cracking down on trade cheaters like China, who manipulate their currency to boost their exports and undercut U.S. manufacturers. So I am urging my colleagues in the Senate to pass my bipartisan currency manipulation bill. China’s trade policy of economic bullying and undermining the global marketplace must be confronted and now is the time to do so.”

Schumer explained that the TPP agreement is the largest trade deals in 20 years, encompassing 11 other Asian and Pacific Rim countries. The TPP includes highly developed nations like Japan and Canada, along with developing nations like Vietnam and Mexico.  Schumer said the litmus test when it comes to weighing new trade deals like the TPP should be whether it helps or hurts middle-class families. Schumer said he would oppose the TPP agreement in its current form as it would be likely to hurt middle class jobs and wages. The TPP would open up US businesses and jobs to competition from several countries that have lower labor and environmental standards. The administration has attempted in good faith to address these issues, but the TPP falls far too short. The TPP also fails to address forms of blatantly unfair trade practices, like currency manipulation, that have eroded the US manufacturing base for decades. Schumer cited an EPI study, which shows that currency manipulation and other predatory trade practices from China resulted in the displacement of approximately 179,200 jobs across New York State between 2001 and 2013.

Schumer said he would also oppose TPA legislation if it did not include measures to crack down on China’s currency manipulation practices, which have continuously undermined American businesses and increased the U.S. trade deficit. Schumer said of all the unfair trade practices currency manipulation is often the most significant and China is at the front of the line when it comes to this practice. Schumer explained that the U.S. should be focusing on cracking down on international trade cheaters like China, who have manipulated their currency for years to protect their industries and undercut American jobs.

For years, China has intervened in foreign exchange markets to devalued its currency against the American dollar which had made their products cheaper in foreign markets and US exports to China more expensive. Schumer said this dangerous practice has increased the U.S. trade deficits with China, which has led to the displacement of 3.2 million U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2013.Nearly 180,000 jobs were displaced throughout the State of New York alone.

Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the U.S. Treasury Department repeatedly find that China’s currency is undervalued, Schumer said Administration after Administration has failed to effectively combat China’s currency manipulation. For these reasons, he is pushing a bipartisan bill to crackdown on currency manipulation. This anti-currency bill already passed the Senate by a 63-35 votes in 2011, and recently passed out of the Senate Finance Committee by an 18-8 vote. This bill uses the existing structure companies use to challenge trade cheaters in countervailing duty cases and is consistent with U.S. international trade obligations. Schumer said allowing the TPP deal to go through without passing strong currency manipulation legislation could lead to the loss of more good-paying New York manufacturing jobs.

Schumer has long advocated to hold China accountable for its currency manipulation practices. He authored the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, with Senators Jeff Sessions, Sherrod Brown and Lindsey Graham. Chinese trade practices have caused significant job loss in Upstate New York over the past decade. Between 2001 and 2013 this has equated to nearly 180,000 jobs displaced as a result of predatory trade practices like currency manipulation:

· In the 18th Congressional District, approximately 5,252 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o   Orange, Putnam, parts of southern Dutchess and northeastern Westchester

· In the 19th Congressional District, approximately 9,955 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o Columbia, Delaware, Green, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer

· In the 20th Congressional District, approximately 7,217 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o Albany, Schenectady, parts of Montgomery, Rensselaer and Saratoga

· In the 21st Congressional District, approximately 4,219 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o Parts of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington

· In the 22nd Congressional District, approximately 9,456 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida and parts of Broome, Herkimer, Oswego and Tioga

· In the 23rd Congressional District, approximately 10,287 jobs have been lost to China trade. *

o Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Yates and parts of Ontario and Tioga

· In the 24th Congressional District, approximately 5,477 jobs have been lost to China trade.

o Cayuga, Onondaga, Wayne and western parts of Oswego

· In the 25th Congressional District, approximately 7,922 jobs have been lost to China trade. *

o Monroe County

·  In the 26th Congressional District, approximately 7,781 jobs have been lost to China trade. *

o Parts of Erie and Niagara

· In the 27th Congressional District, approximately 6,524 jobs have been lost to China trade. *

o Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara and Ontario

* Previous data used included the 28th and 29th Congressional Districts. Because they are now obsolete, this data was incorporated into other districts that, for the majority of the region, encompass that former district. The 28th was spread out between the 25th, 26th, and 27th districts, the 29th was incorporated into the 23rd.