The Honorable Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Dear Mr. President:
As you prepare for your upcoming visit to Japan, I am writing to urge you to raise the issue of currency manipulation with Prime Minister Abe.
Between Japan's reported unwillingness to open up their agricultural and auto markets, and the prime minister's public assertions while running that he would actively work to weaken the yen, it is imperative that you raise currency manipulation with him during your talks. The yen has fallen over 20 percent against the dollar since Mr. Abe took office in late 2012, and it was the worst performing among the G10 currencies last year losing more than 1/5 of its value against the dollar.
Currency manipulation remains a serious issue with our existing trade agreements, and 230 members of the House and 60 members of the Senate are on record in support of ensuring that strong currency protections are in place in any new trade agreement and that every trade agreement provide strong enforcement mechanisms against currency manipulation as well.
In 2008, in a letter to US Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, you noted that as president you would "insist that our trade deals include prohibitions against illegal subsidies and currency manipulation and other trade practices that hurt American workers and firms" and went on to say that you felt "one of the signal failures of the Bush Administration has been its failure to counteract China's manipulation of the yuan."
Given the strong concerns expressed by members of congress on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol, I hope you will address the critical issue of currency manipulation during your visit to Japan.