Today, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) praised a bipartisan group of 230 Members of Congress for signing a joint lette r to President Obama urging him to address currency manipulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The letter was organized by Reps. Michael Michaud (D-ME), Rick Crawford (R-AR), John Dingell (D-MI), and Sam Graves (R-MO).
The letter comes at a critical juncture in TPP talks following the release of April data showing that the U.S. trade deficit with Japan is growing, thanks in part to a devalued yen.
Said AAM President Scott Paul:
“We’d like to commend Reps. Michaud, Crawford, Dingell, and Graves for collecting 230 bipartisan signatures among their House colleagues. These Members have sent a clear message to President Obama that trading partners like Japan must open their markets and stop manipulating their currency if they hope to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“The Asia-Pacific region includes a number of countries that manipulate their exchange rates. Addressing currency manipulation is critical to ensuring that U.S. companies gain reciprocal market access and a level playing field in the TPP.”
AAM has previously voiced concerns about Japan's closed market and currency manipulation, including:
- A May 22, 2012 letter, co-signed by AAM and a broad cross-section of U.S. manufacturers and industrial groups, urging the Obama Administration to include rules governing currency manipulation as a key point of any future trade agreements.
- A February 23, 2013 op-ed by Paul that identified problems posed by Japan's market barriers and currency manipulation.
- An April 12 , 2013 press statement urging the Obama Administration to address currency issues before concluding any TPP discussions with Japan.