A bipartisan group of 60 Senators led by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, today urged Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to address foreign currency manipulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and future free trade agreements. The Senators point out that currency manipulation is an illegal trade practice that has cost the U.S. millions of jobs. The Senators want U.S. officials to stand up for U.S. businesses and workers by including enforceable measures against currency manipulation in trade agreements in order to ensure a level playing field on global trade and to help create jobs here at home.
The letter reads, in part:
"A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that foreign currency manipulation has already cost between one and five million American jobs. A free trade agreement purporting to increase trade, but failing to address foreign currency manipulation, could lead to a permanent unfair trade relationship that further harms the United States economy."
The letter was circulated by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and signed by Senators Harkin, Chambliss, Whitehouse, Inhofe, Levin, Murphy, Brown, Klobuchar, Collins, Schumer, Casey, Donnelly, Franken, McCaskill, Sessions, Manchin, Merkley, Coon, Heinrich, Baldwin, Reed, Boxer, Blunt, Pryor, Menendez, Boozman, Rockefeller, Cardin, Coats, Vitter, Markley, Wyden, Burr, Hoeven, Leahy, Tester, Warren, Blumenthal, Udall (NM), Begich, Risch, Mikulski, King, Shaheen, Moran, Sanders, Gillibrand, Heitkamp, Nelson, Portman, Schatz, Roberts, Landrieu, Durbin, Coburn, Grassley, Hirono, and Hagan.
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman:
We agree with the Administration's stated goal that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has "high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement." To achieve this, however, we think it is necessary to address one of the 21st century's most serious trade problems: foreign currency manipulation.
Currency is the medium through which trade occurs and exchange rates determine its comparative value. It is as important to trade outcomes as is the quality of the goods or services traded. Currency manipulation can negate or greatly reduce the benefits of a free trade agreement and may have a devastating impact on American companies and workers.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that foreign currency manipulation has already cost between one and five million American jobs. A free trade agreement purporting to increase trade, but failing to address foreign currency manipulation, could lead to a permanent unfair trade relationship that further harms the United States economy.
As the United States negotiates TPP and all future free trade agreements, we ask that you include strong and enforceable foreign currency manipulation disciplines to ensure these agreements meet the "high standards" our country, America's companies, and America's workers deserve.f