Alliance Hires Law Firm For Chinese Currency Case

By John S. McClenahen The Fair Currency Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of trade associations and unions that includes the AFL-CIO and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has selected the law firm Collier Shannon Scott to prepare a Section 301 petition challenging alleged Chinese currency manipulation. Section 301 is a part of the Trade Act of 1974 allowing the U.S. to take action against foreign nations for violating U.S. rights under trade agreements or engaging in practices that harm U.S. trade. "We believe that the Chinese practice of intervening heavily to control its currency at a significantly undervalued level -- as much as 40% -- against the [U.S.] dollar conveys an artificial trade advantage that is affecting U.S. production and jobs," says Patricia Mears, the alliance's executive director. A "reasonable estimate" of the date for filing the Section 301 petition with the U.S. Trade Representative's office is four to six weeks from now, says Franklin J. Vargo, NAM's vice president for international economic policy.

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