Manufacturers Seek Steps Against Currency Manipulation

WASHINGTON -- The American Iron and Steel Institute and a dozen other manufacturing groups who say they have been hurt by unfair trade practices have asked the Obama Administration to include strong and enforceable provisions that prohibit currency manipulation in all future U.S. free trade agreements. Among the agreements under negotiation is the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Led by the American Automotive Policy Council, the groups have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that says, "Manipulation of currency levels … is one of the biggest distortions of international trade in the 21st century. The economic consequences of currency manipulation are enormous and widespread."

The letter cites recent economic studies, which calculated that currencies manipulated so they’re that undervalued have caused an increase in the U.S. trade deficit of asmuch as $500 billion per year. A similar letter was sent the Obama Administration earlier this year; 230 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 60 U.S. senators signed that letter.

"Currency manipulation continues to put manufacturers, including the U.S. steel industry, at a great disadvantage against our foreign competitors," said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. "To remain internationally competitive, we need the Administration to insist that our trading partners are held accountable when they manipulate their currencies to gain a trade advantage. If currency manipulation is addressed in new trade agreements, it could lower the U.S. trade deficit, boost U.S. economic growth, U.S. exports, and lead to more American jobs."

To read the full text of the letter, visit this website.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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