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News from U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
For Immediate Release: November 29, 2005
Contact: Chris Chichester, 202-228-5843


(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, responded to the biannual report to Congress released by the Treasury Department that once again failed to designate China as a currency manipulator:

"The Treasury Department continues to ignore and excuse the Chinese government's appalling disregard for fair trade practices by manipulating its currency, which harms small business owners in Maine and across our nation. Congress has endured this do-nothing policy for too long.

"Despite overwhelming evidence that the Chinese government deliberately manipulates its currency at the expense of American manufacturing jobs, the Treasury Department has once again failed to take action. Congress must confront this pattern of indifference and force the Chinese government to honor its international trade obligations by going much further in its reforms to bring it into compliance."

In May, Senator Snowe introduced "The Fair Currency Practices Act of 2005" (S. 984), legislation to force nations to live up to their international obligations and stop undervaluing their currencies. It has three key provisions. The first would alter the criteria by which the Treasury Department is required to enter into negotiations with foreign countries that it labels as currency manipulators. The second would further clarify the working definition of manipulation under the Exchange Rates and International Economic Policy Coordination Act of 1998. Finally, the Fair Currency Practices Act would instruct Treasury to undertake an extensive examination of China's trade surplus, with particular attention paid to China's suspect trade data, and report on its findings.


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