The Obama Administration has concluded consultations allowing Japan to enter negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul:
"Including Japan in the TPP without ironclad assurances that it will open its markets and stop manipulating its currency is incredibly irresponsible.
"Before the real negotiations have even started, it looks like the Obama Administration has already given Japan a blank check to cheat. Haven’t we learned anything from the last decade? Large trade imbalances and barriers in autos, auto parts, and other manufactured goods have gone unaddressed, and were not adequately addressed in this consultation.
"You can add this to the list of threats that stand in the way of a true American manufacturing resurgence. What makes matters worse is that this would be a self-inflicted wound.
"The men and women who work hard every day on the shop floor of America’s steel mills and auto plants deserve better than this. Our message is simple: if Japan is in the TPP under these circumstances, then count us out."
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.
- A March 15, 2013 press statement urging the Obama Administration to address currency issues before concluding any TPP discussions with Japan.