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Top U.S. economists warn Congress against anti-China protectionist measures (2)
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13:22, August 02, 2007

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"This marvelous growth has led to more affordable goods, higher productivity, strong job growth, and a higher standard of living for both countries," said the signatories. "These economic benefits were made possible in large part because both China and the United States embraced freer trade."

"We urge Congress to discard any plans for increased protectionism, and instead urge lawmakers to work towards fostering stronger global economic ties through free trade," they concluded.

The economists expressed serious concerns about the recent protectionist sentiments expressed in Congress, which on Wednesday passed a bill in the Senate banking committee that would make it harder for the Treasury to avoid a finding that China and other countries have "misaligned currencies."

Last week, the Senate Financial Committee passed another bill that would allow the U.S. government to push other nations to adopt more market-based currency policies or face sanctions.

Pat Toomey, president of the Club for Growth, criticized the fact that Congress is suffering from a bad case of amnesia.

On May 4, 1930, 1,028 economists signed a petition urging Congress and President Herbert Hoover to reject a similar protectionist bill. Neither Congress nor the president listened and the stock market plunged dramatically, he recalled.

"Over the past several months, protectionism has reached a fever pitch with lawmakers in both Houses clamoring to attach their names to as many as 50 anti-trade bills," he said.

"Congress hasn''t changed much over the past 77 years. Thankfully, economics hasn''t changed much either: 77 years after 1,028 economists stood to thwart protectionism yelling ''stop!''" he added.

Source: Xinhua
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