Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the next leader of the Democrats in the Senate and a vocal critic of the President’s trade agenda, dug in for a prolonged fight with the White House on the issue of Chinese currency manipulation. This after President Obama slammed critics as “wrong” to oppose his trade agenda during a roundtable discussion with “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews.
“I wouldn’t even entertain supporting this [trade] agreement unless we had a currency bill that went after China,” Schumer told Matthews. “If we don’t do currency, we’re turning over our economy to the Chinese.”
Concerns over China’s currency-management practices have been the subject of intense scrutiny. Critics say the Asian nation is manipulating the market to help fuel exports, harming the U.S. economy in the process.
China is not part of the current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal being negotiated among the U.S. and 11 countries in the Pacific Rim, but President Obama says the White House is working with Congress on provisions to both monitor and prevent countries from manipulating their currencies.
But for Senator Schumer, that’s not going to cut it with his party.
“The only way they can get Democrats [to support the President] is to do a strong real currency bill,” Schumer Said. “So far, this administration, the Bush administration has done nothing.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned lawmakers that adding a currency provision to the current trade pact is not something that our negotiating partners will agree to - - which he argues could sink the deal.