The U.S Senate is expected to take a key vote Monday on a bill co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey aimed at punishing China for manipulating its currency.
For years, Americans have accused China of artificially lowering the value of its currency to make its good cheaper and boost exports. The bill sponsored by Casey and 19 senators of both parties would permit the U.S. to retaliate with several means, including tariffs on Chinese goods. Casey spoke about the measure in a conference call with reporters.
“When China cheats on its currency, we lose jobs,” Casey said. “We’ve lost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the last decade and many of them are attributable directly to China’s currency policies.”
Studies differ on whether the bill would boost American jobs.
Casey cited a study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute saying the bill could generate more than 2 million American jobs. A study from two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis was skeptical the bill would result in any significant job gains.
President Obama has been lukewarm on the bill, preferring a policy of quiet pressure and negotiation with the Chinese.
The vote would close debate and permit the bill to be considered by the Senate. Sixty votes are required.