Should Congress Interfere with China's Currency Policies?
Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would punish China for manipulating its currency in ways that disadvantages American business. The bill lets the government put tariffs on products from any country that is undervaluing its currency to keep prices on exports down. With a 65-35 vote it passed with both Democratic and Republican support, but House Republicans have said they will not allow the bill to come up for a vote. The issue also came up in Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, as candidates sparred on whether punishing China is worth risking a trade war. Among other things, China has been accused of undervaluing its currency to keep prices of its products low abroad, making it harder for U.S. companies to compete. Some argue the practice has hindered economic growth in America, and that the U.S. government must step in to address it. Others think that politicians are using China as a scapegoat for other problems. Even if the House does nothing, Senate approval of the bill sends a symbolic message to the Chinese. The Foreign Ministry of China quickly condemned the bill. Here is the Debate Club’s take on whether Congress should interfere with China’s currency policies: