NFU endorses Baldwin-Hawley exchange rate bill
Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the Treasury secretary to manage the U.S dollar exchange rate and bring it into alignment by placing a “market access charge” on foreign purchases of U.S. stocks, bonds and other assets.
“The Competitive Dollar for Jobs and Prosperity Act (CDJPA) would work to realign the value of the dollar, making U.S. agricultural exports more competitive abroad,” the National Farmers Union said in a news release.
“By applying a market access charge on foreign investments, the legislation would strategically slow the flood of foreign capital that is currently driving up the dollar’s value to noncompetitive levels,” NFU said.
“As the value of the dollar declines, U.S. agricultural exports will be more competitive, spurring demand for those goods in markets abroad. As the demand for those products increases, so in turn will the prices paid to U.S. farmers and ranchers. A 1% decline in the value of the dollar could lead to as much as a 2.5% increase in the prices of certain crops.
“The over-valued U.S. dollar puts American family farmers and ranchers on an uneven playing field with the rest of the world. Despite near record levels of agricultural exports, U.S. farmers and ranchers are now in the sixth year of depressed farm income, and low commodity prices are a big part of the problem. If the U.S. dollar were realigned, our agricultural exports would be more competitive on the world market, driving up prices.
“The Competitive Dollar for Jobs and Prosperity Act is needed to restore fairness to international trade markets and to provide opportunity for economic prosperity for family farmers and ranchers, and all of rural America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
The bill is also being supported by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (a coalition of manufacturers, organized labor, farmers, and ranchers), National Association of Pipe Fabricators, JOA Industries, Meyer Manufacturing, Lapham-Hickey Steel Operations in Oshkosh, Wis., and Team Industries, Inc. in Kaukauna, Wis., NFU said.
“For years, foreign actors like China have manipulated their currency, making American exports more expensive and Chinese imports cheaper, forcing our manufacturers and farmers to compete at a disadvantage and blowing up our trade deficit,” said Baldwin.
“Today, foreign investors have driven up the American dollar, helping Wall Street profit but holding back stronger economic growth,” she said. “We need reforms that create a competitive American dollar and an even playing field for manufacturers, farmers and workers. This bipartisan fix will increase American exports and boost our manufacturing and farming economy.”
Hawley said, “For decades, China and other currency manipulators have waged financial war on U.S. agriculture and manufacturing to devastating effect.”
“This legislation creates a powerful new tool to fight back against foreign currency manipulators, encourage investment in American jobs, and make our exports more competitive around the world,” he said.
“Our farmers deserve a chance to earn a fair profit on their crops. Our factories deserve a level playing field. With this bill, they will get one.”
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