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Manufacturing Groups Push Geithner, Kirk to Address Currency Manipulation


Manufacturing Groups Push Geithner, Kirk to Address Currency Manipulation

A group of manufacturing and industrial organizations is calling on the Obama administration to address currency manipulation by other countries as it negotiates future free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Currency is the medium in which trade occurs, and exchange rates can be as important a determinant of trade outcomes as the qualities of the goods or services themselves,” the groups - including the Alliance for American Manufacturing, American Automotive Policy Council and the Steel Manufacturers Association - wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk this week. “In the context of a free trade agreement, currency manipulation can negate the trade liberalizing effects of tariff reductions.”

The groups wrote the letter in hopes that TPP negotiations include discussion of currency issues, saying that prohibiting currency manipulation “in our free trade agreements will help to foster multilateral consensus against the use of currency manipulation to gain an unfair competitive advantage.”

Some countries, the organizations write, purposefully weaken their currencies to support their own exports and curb imports - a practice the United States, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund oppose.

“Creating a level playing field for U.S. business to access markets abroad will be fundamental to achieving America’s goal of doubling exports by 2014,” the letter says. “Addressing currency manipulation in future U.S. free trade agreements will go a long way to supporting this objective.”

Other groups that signed the letter include the American Iron and Steel Institute, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Re-posted from the National Journal

Andrew Joseph | May 25, 2012 | National Journal


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