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Coalition Presses For Asian Currency Action

The Coalition for a Sound Dollar, Washington, has praised Senate Finance Committee members Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) for urging action by Treasury Secretary John Snow against China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in connection with these countries' currency manipulations. The coalition also is urging Congress to put the issue of Asian currency manipulation at the top of its 2003 list of priorities.

"[T]hese countries manipulate their currencies to gain an anti-competitive export advantage over US manufacturers and farmers a practice that is illegal under international rules and goes against the presidents own policy that open markets should set exchange," said Cass Johnson, director for international trade, American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), and a spokesman for the coalition.

"By using artificially low currencies to gain a competitive edge, these countries gain as much as a 20- to 40-percent price advantage over US manufacturers," he said. "It is no wonder that the US manufacturing sector continues to shed jobs while manufacturing imports from these four countries have collectively surged to all-time highs."

Together, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan accounted for about $200 billion of the US trade deficit in 2002. As well, over the last two years, 2 million jobs have been lost in the US manufacturing sector.

April 2003