ASA Issues Action Alert

Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Act could undermine relationship with China.

Published on: Sep 30, 2011

The American Soybean Association has issued an Action Alert, asking members to contact their Senators and urge them to vote NO on cloture on the Brown-Schumer currency bill (S. 1619 the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Act). The vote is scheduled for Monday afternoon. ASA believes S. 1619 could undermine our entire commercial relationship with China, the third largest export market for U.S. goods valued at $69.7 billion, and the top customer for U.S. soybeans valued at $11.2 billion. Over one half of all U.S. soybean exports are destined for China.

According to ASA, S. 1619 is the wrong tool to incentivize China to move rapidly to modify its exchange policies. Rather, it would likely have the opposite effect of inviting retaliation against U.S. exports into the Chinese market. Passage of S. 1619 would be counterproductive and will not get us closer to the goal of achieving a market-driven exchange rate. According to ASA this legislation would shift the focus away from the core issues of China's currency and onto punitive and unilateral U.S. action against the Chinese.

The ASA says we need to stop looking for simple solutions to complex problems – the real answers to these problems are largely things that we need to be doing here at home to make our economy more competitive and that currency legislation is the wrong remedy for the wrong problem.

In their alert ASA issued the following talking points:

  • Unilateral legislation on this issue would be counterproductive not only to the goals related to China’s exchange rate that we all share, but also to our nation’s broader objectives of addressing the many and growing challenges that we face in China.
  • The Senate should reject cloture on this bill.
  • Above all, this legislation will do little to create jobs in the United States and may actually threaten job creation in export oriented industries and economic growth at a time when the United States dearly needs both.
  • Legislation that would impose tariffs on imports from China will NOT create any incentive for China to move quickly to modify its exchange policies. Rather, it would likely have the opposite effect and result in retaliation against U.S. exports into China – currently the fastest-growing market for U.S. exports.
To contact your Senators call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121.