Congressman Dan Kildee: Failure to Address Currency Manipulation in New Trade Deal Would Hurt American Competitiveness, Risk U.S. Jobs

February 10, 2015

Kildee, Others Hold Briefing for Lawmakers on Importance of Including Provisions to Address Currency Manipulation in Trans-Pacific Partnership

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill today with policy and trade experts to discuss currency manipulation and the implications it has on American jobs and exports. Congressman Kildee is a strong opponent of a ‘free trade’ deal that does not include strong, enforceable provisions to deal with currency manipulation.

“Countries continue to manipulate their currency to favor their own manufacturers while placing an unfair competitive advantage against American workers. This isn’t ‘free’ trade – it is unfair trade that puts American jobs at risk,” Congressman Kildee said. “Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t address unfair trade practices like currency manipulation that threaten our workers. American workers build the best products in the world and can compete with anyone if they are given a level playing field to compete on. But right now, the deck is stacked against U.S. workers due to unfair trade practices like currency manipulation. Enacting trade deals like TPP without strong enforceable currency manipulation provisions is bad for American workers, bad for businesses, and bad trade policy.”

According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs to other countries because past free trade agreements did not include provisions that addressed currency manipulation. According to the new analysis, the U.S. trade deficit with Japan is in part attributable to currency manipulation and has “displaced 896,600 U.S. jobs” in 2013 alone. The report goes on to say that several countries in the proposed TPP deal – including Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan – are “well known” currency manipulators.

“Currency manipulation is the most important cause of the large and growing U.S. trade deficit with Japan. In the past two years, Japan has driven down the value of the yen primarily through large purchases of foreign assets, and also by announcing its intention to reduce the yen’s value,” the report reads.

Today’s briefing included policy and trade experts including Josh Bivens, the Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute, Dean Baker, an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff for the AFL-CIO, and Raphael Goodstein, Legislative Director for the American Automotive Policy Council.

Congressman Kildee, who represents Flint, Mich., has been an outspoken critic of fast-tracking a new so-called ‘free trade’ deal like TPP that does not include currency manipulation.