Three Democrats are calling on President Trump to support legislation that would direct the Commerce Department to treat currency manipulation as an export subsidy, allowing it to issue countervailing duties in trade remedy cases.
[Daily News| February 17, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
In a Feb. 17 letter, signed by former Ways & Means ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI), trade subcommittee ranking member Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), the three note reports that the Trump administration is considering the move as part of a broader China policy crafted by National Trade Policy Director Peter Navarro. The lawmakers say legislation is the best way to change the Commerce Department’s policy because if the change is made by executive order, the next president could easily change it back.
“We have read reports that your Administration is looking at the possibility of addressing this issue, specifically by treating manipulated exchange rates as export subsidies and applying countervailing duties against countries that benefit from the undervalued currency,” the letter states. “Instead of simply making this change through executive action, however, we urge you to support legislation that would make this change permanent. Without legislation, the next Administration could revoke this much-needed policy with the stroke of a pen.”