07/06/2011 04:30 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2011

The "Make it in America" Initiative: The 'Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act'

There are few issues more vital to our state of Michigan, as well as our nation, than advanced manufacturing and trade. The "Make it in America" agenda is a plan to rebuild the American manufacturing sector through various pieces of legislation introduced by members in the Democratic caucus. Several of these have already become law, while some are currently pending.

Continuing from last week, as part of this agenda, we are trying to force the House Republican leadership to bring to a floor vote the 'Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act', which would help American businesses compete on a more level playing field in the global economic market.

This legislation, which passed in a House vote last year by a margin of 348 to 79, would allow the Commerce Department to consider currency manipulation and undervaluation as a subsidy, which could then be countered with a tariff, leveling the playing field for domestic manufacturers. Economists estimate that China's undervalued currency costs the U.S. between 500,000and 1.5 million jobs.

Another piece of legislation I have introduced as part of the "Make it in America" agenda is called the "Building American Jobs" act. This act extends several bond, tax credit and loan guarantee programs for states and municipalities, with the aim to finance infrastructure developments which will in turn create economic growth and create new jobs.

When President Obama visited an advanced manufacturing facility in Iowa recently, he explained the importance of our manufacturing sector, and called for continued support and investment of our American industries. He stated, "I promise you, if we continue to adapt and we continue to innovate and we work together to compete around the world, America will come back stronger than before."

Other key components of the "Make it in America" agenda focus on supporting small business interests, reforming American tax policy, investing in clean energy, and making government more efficient.

We want to keep pushing for votes on these important bills so that we can continue to revitalize our domestic economy and support our American manufacturing sector.