You've got to wonder what sort of credibility Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has left when he keeps talking about bashing China over its currency for years and years without actually pushing any legislation through. Once more, the jockeying is in anticipation of the April 15 decision of the Treasury Department whether or not to brand China a currency manipulator. First there was Schumer-Graham which proposed slapping 27.5% tariffs on Chinese goods unless China revalued its currency at a more observable rate. Failing that, we later had Baucus-Grassley-Schumer-Graham, which also came to naught in time. Call it vapourware, call it posturing: It seems Schumer, also a member of the now-infamous "China Currency Coalition" like President Obama when he was a senator, is once again agitating for [yawn] some currency action. What did they say about crying wolf? From Reuters:
"Now more than ever, there is a consensus to finally confront China's currency manipulation," the New York Democrat said in a statement. "It is the single biggest step we can take to promote U.S. job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector. We plan to move forward with revamped legislation on this issue in the coming days," he said.Let's see if you really have the guts, Chuck.
Schumer's statement comes as President Barack Obama's administration faces a decision by April 15 on whether to formally label China as a currency manipulator in a semi-annual Treasury Department report. Many U.S. lawmakers complain that China's currency is undervalued by as much as 40 percent, giving its companies an unfair price advantage in international trade.
Schumer co-authored a bill several years ago that threatened to slap a 27.5-percent across-the-board tariff on Chinese goods because of its currency policies. However, he and Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, later withdrew that plan.