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BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And Trade

Ryan Opposed Efforts To Punish China For Currency Manipulation

In 2010, Ryan Opposed The “Currency Reform Fair Trade Act” To Impose Tariffs On Countries With Undervalued Currencies. According to the Boston Globe, “In 2010, when the House voted on the Currency Reform Fair Trade Act, Ryan was among the 79 congressmen who opposed the measure. The bill passed – 348 to 79, with 99 Republicans voting in favor – but was not taken up by the Senate so it never became law. The legislation would have given the president expanded authority to impose tariffs on the imports from countries that have ‘fundamentally undervalued’ currencies.” [Boston Globe, 8/16/12]

Voted For Permanent Normal Trade Relations With China And Later, for Most Favored Nation Status

Ryan Voted For Bill To Approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations With China. According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “After an epic round of lobbying, the House approved permanent normal trade relations with China, marking a historic change in America’s relationship with the world’s most populous nation. … House members from Wisconsin split on the issue. … Four voted in favor: Republicans Paul Ryan of Janesville, Mark Green of Green Bay and Tom Petri of Fond du Lac and Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/25/00]

Ryan Supported Granting Most Favored Nation Trade Status to China. Ryan voted against a joint resolution to deny the president’s request to provide “normal trade relations” (formerly known as “most-favored-nation” or MFN trade status) for items produced in China for the period July 2001 through July 2002. The resolution was defeated, 169-259 [Roll Call 255, S 50, 07/19/2001]

Ryan Was Accused Of Spinning His Support For The Trade Status To Seem “Farmer Friendly.”

Editorial: Ryan’s Support Of Granting China Favored Nation Trading Status Was Wrong As He Spun His Vote To Be “Farmer Friendly.” According to a Capital Times Editorial, “So who doesn’t get it? U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Janesville Republican, who has been under intense pressure from both sides on the issue. Ryan announced this week that he intends to vote yes on the proposal, suggesting that his southeastern Wisconsin 1st District is split on the issue — with farmers favoring the move and autoworkers opposing it. While Ryan is right that the UAW is an out-front foe of the trade bill, he’s wrong about farmers — the National Farmers Union and every serious congressional advocate for family farming strongly oppose the deal. Ryan shouldn’t try to ‘‘spin’’ his vote as farmer-friendly. It’s not. Instead, he should change his stand and vote with labor, environmental, human rights and farm advocates, who oppose giving a blank check to the Chinese government and its corporate partners.” [Capital Times, Editorial, 5/24/00]

Ryan Supported Establishing Normal Trade Relations With China Because He Thought It Would Benefit His District. According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Most Wisconsin members of the House of Representatives express disapproval of legislation that would establish normal trade relations with China over the objections of labor unions. … From Wisconsin, they [supporters] included Democrat Ron Kind and Republicans Thomas Petri, Mark Green and Paul Ryan. … The new status is part of China’s admission to the World Trade Organization. In return, China agrees to lower barriers to U.S. products and investment. Ryan believes the bill can benefit his southeastern Wisconsin congressional district, press secretary Kate Dwyer said. Modifications of industrial tariffs and trade quotas ‘look very good to the congressman.’” [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 5/23/00]