Thu., October 6, 2011 5:09pm (EDT)

Senate Debate Gets Tepid Response
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Shipping containers carry trade mostly from China to the US, not the other way around.  The trade deficit causes lost jobs.  But China's size and influence over exports, a big part of Georgia's economy, cause some business groups to lay low.  (photo Christopher Charles)
Shipping containers carry trade mostly from China to the US, not the other way around. The trade deficit causes lost jobs. But China's size and influence over exports, a big part of Georgia's economy, cause some business groups to lay low. (photo Christopher Charles)
The US Senate is debating legislation to impose sanctions on China for undervaling its currency.

While many in Georgia politics are stridently for or against the proposal, many in Georgia business have more complicated views.

The state does a lot of poultry and mining business with China.

But Georgia representatives of those industies didn't want to comment on the Senate vote, citing conflicted views.

Some businessmen, like forestry industry consulant Blake Sullivan, would like China to stop manipulating its currency, but don't want Congress to force the issue.

"It's just the wrong vehicle to use," Sullivan says. "The right vehicle would be in the executive branch. The State Department should work very hard to ensure that the Chinese currency floats."

The tepid response might be China's double-edged sword for the state economy.

The country is the second-largest buyer of Georgia exports after Canada.

But at the same time, one report, by the Economic Policy Institute, says that the US-China trade defecit over the last ten-years has cost Georgia a net loss of 80,000 jobs.