August 9, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 8:23 pm

Survey: China decimating CT mfg.

U.S. trade with China has a disastrous effect on Connecticut businesses, particularly as the Asian country manipulates currency exchange in its favor, according to a survey of 151 Connecticut manufacturers.

The survey, released Monday by Congressman Chris Murphy, D-5th District, and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, said 89 percent of respondents planned to increase or maintain their workforce this year, but 87 percent said it is very difficult to fill open positions because of a lack of skilled workers.

Overall, the 76 percent were confident about the future of their company, and 53 percent felt their revenues would increase this year.

But the respondents were worried about growing competition from the global marketplace, particularly China.

The majority of survey respondents said their parent companies, suppliers and customers have increased their business dealings with Chinese firms in the past 10 years, making it harder for Connecticut businesses to fight against that country's cheap labor and lax environmental regulations, the survey said.

The survey says China undervalues its currency -- the yuan -- by 25 percent to 30 percent, giving the Asian country a financial advantage when exporting goods to the United States. Of the survey respondents, 57 percent said their business would improve if the U.S. addressed China's currency manipulation.

Murphy used the results of the survey to promote some of his legislative initiatives, including the Buy American policies regarding the U.S. government's purchase of goods, and the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act of 2011, which gives the U.S. president greater power to deal with currency manipulation.

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