House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has declared that the U.S. is in an “abusive relationship” with China and that America will no longer “ride the Chinese tiger.”
“Our role is to register the concern of the American people on this,” Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing on Oct. 6. “This has been going on for 21 years — 22 years that I have been involved in this issue. And the U.S. decided way back when to ride the Chinese tiger.”
“It’s not about protectionism,” Pelosi said. “It’s about self-reliance. It’s about ‘Make it in America.’ It’s making our products competitive to going back and forth in China trade, in U.S.-China trade, but also in the world market. Their manipulation impacts their prices on the world market and makes us uncompetitive in terms of price.”
The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011 would pressure China to let the value of its currency rise, in part by imposing tariffs and other penalties against countries for engaging in “fundamental misalignment” of their currency.
House Speaker John Boehner has labeled the bill “very dangerous” and warned that it could spark a trade war.
“For the Congress of the United States to pass legislation to force the Chinese to do what is arguably very difficult to do, I think is wrong; it’s dangerous; you could start a trade war and a trade war given the economic uncertainty here and all around the world is … it’s just very dangerous, and we should not be engaged in this,” he said on Oct. 6.
Senate Democratic leaders disagree, arguing that the legislation will create jobs.
“We lost two million jobs during the last 10 years and we’re told by the experts if we can get this turned around, we can get those jobs back very quickly,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said on Oct. 5.
China has asserted that the bill could start a trade war if it is signed into law.