Clawson-Kildee Amendment to TPA on Currency Manipulation to be Introduced Today Before Rules Committee

June 10, 2015

Bipartisan Amendment Gaining Groundswell of Support by the Hour from Manufacturers and Labor

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Congressman Curt Clawson (FL-19) today will introduce a bipartisan amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill on currency manipulation before the House Committee on Rules.

“Our bipartisan amendment is simple – it puts teeth into Trade Promotion Authority and addresses currency manipulation by holding countries who deliberately deflate the value of their currency accountable,” Congressman Kildee said. “My home state of Michigan has seen first-hand the loss of tens of thousands of good-paying jobs due to the past failure to address currency manipulation.  If Congress fails to adopt this amendment and address the biggest barrier to fair trade – currency manipulation – American workers will be forced to compete on an uneven playing field.”

“It’s important that we incorporate language into the TPA Legislation to ensure that future trade agreements require the elimination of subsidies and unfair practices that artificially favor one trade partner at the expense of another,” stated Congressman Curt Clawson.  “Time and again, throughout my life and my career in the automotive industry, I have seen the faces of the displaced of this practice.  Currency manipulation has dried up many small town and urban neighborhood economies in this country, and put our skilled plant workers in the unemployment line or has forced them into lower paying jobs.  We cannot address free trade unless we address fairness,” Clawson concluded.

The Clawson-Kildee Amendment directs U.S. negotiators to include strong and enforceable rules in all future trade agreements to prohibit currency manipulation and to hold participating countries accountable to International Monetary Fund standards.  The amendment directs that all future trade agreements will include explicit language to ensure that foreign competitors don’t use their exchange rates to subsidize their exports to the competitive disadvantage of products made by American workers.

The Clawson-Kildee Amendment has broad based support from both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Mick Mulvane (R-FL); Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA); Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL); Rep. Dave Brat (R-MI); Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-IL); Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC); Rep. Robin Kelly (D-NY); Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL); Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ); Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI); Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY); Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ); Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY); Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI); Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY); Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI); Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI); Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC); and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA).

The United Auto Workers (UAW), Communications Workers of America (CWA), the AFL-CIO, and the Ford Motor Company are in support of the Clawson-Kildee amendment.

The Ford Motor Company and the UAW issued public statements in support of the Clawson-Kildee amendment:

“Currency manipulation is the most significant 21st century trade barrier that American manufacturers face.  We have consistently supported the inclusion of strong enforceable currency rules in all future trade deals. We believe TPA should direct U.S. negotiators to include strong and enforceable rules that prohibit currency manipulation, and we strongly support the bipartisan Clawson-Kildee amendment because it would achieve that goal,” said Curt Magleby, Vice President for U.S. Government Relations at Ford Motor Company.

“Our country needs to make sure future trade agreements do not undermine manufacturing and middle class jobs in the years ahead.  We must fix America’s trade imbalance and restore fairness to American trade policies.  It would be tragic and unfair to the world class workers of the UAW if we do not include enforceable currency manipulation in the TPP. The non-partisan Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that currency manipulation has already cost upwards of five million American jobs to stop this unfair trading practice. We endorse the Kildee-Clawson Amendment because it takes the commonsense step of directing our trade negotiators to include enforceable provisions in the TPP,” said UAW President Dennis Williams.