By Russell Berman - 09/27/10 11:19 PM EDT
In a speech Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will tout the Democratic Party’s domestic manufacturing agenda, including a bill that could lead to tariffs on Chinese goods.
In the speech to be delivered at the National Press Club, Hoyer will lament the decline in homemade goods during the last three decades and highlight Democratic efforts to promote “Make It in America” policies as the November midterm elections draw closer.
House Democrats are using the “Make It in America” theme to reach out to middle-class voters, particularly in Rust Belt states that have been hard hit by outsourcing. A centerpiece of the House agenda this week is a bill that targets China’s currency policy, which Democrats and the Obama administration have criticized as manipulative and unfair to American workers.
“By deliberately keeping the value of its currency low, China is able to sell its goods in the United States at an artificially low price—which helps put American manufacturers out of business,” Hoyer plans to say. “The bill we vote on this week will help level the playing field for American businesses and workers.”
The China bill would allow the Commerce Department to consider a country's currency policies in calculating anti-subsidy duties.
Another bill the House is expected to pass this week would require American flags purchased by the federal government to be domestically produced.
The speech is one in a series of policy addresses Hoyer has given in recent months as he boosts his visibility in the Beltway. If Democrats lose the House in November, some expect he would rise to minority leader if Speaker Nancy Pelosi steps aside.
Hoyer has taken the lead on the “Make It in America” agenda. He has previously spoken out in favor of spending cuts and entitlement reform to reduce the deficit.