The conservative Club for Growth issued a warning to the GOP presidential candidates Thursday, advising them to think carefully before supporting pending legislation that seeks to crack down on China’s currency manipulation.
Club for Growth, which strongly opposes the bill, labeled it anti-trade and issued a “Key Vote” alert on it for legislators.
The GOP presidential candidate in the field with the most solid foreign policy credentials, however, said he would ultimately sign the bill if he were president.
Speaking to Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News Channel, former Utah governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said he would support it just to “keep pressure on China.”
Huntsman later qualified his answer, saying that the measure wouldn’t carry much weight even if it became law.
“It will carry very little meaning at the end of the day,” Huntsman said. “China will devalue its currency. It has for the last year to two years, and it will continue to. Why? Because it’s in their interest.”
The Currency Exchange Oversight Reform Act is sponsored by Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Chuck Schumer of New York. The bill would make it easier for Congress to react against an exporting country’s currency if it is devalued against the dollar.
The bill allows for lawmakers to place punitive tariffs on those countries in such cases, specifically against China.
At the end of th day, Huntsman’s response won’t win him any points with the Club for Growth.
The group’s president, Chris Chocola, asked in a press released: “Would each candidate, as president, sign the Schumer-Brown legislation to make it easier to impose tariffs on Chinese imports? What do they say to arguments that imposing tariffs would be devastating to economic growth and would harm America’s recovery?”