80,000 U.S. auto workers protest Japan currency manipulation
The American auto industry is hailed by politicians from both sides as a champion of the Great Recession. And the industry deserves their praise. The Big Three have made tough choices and sacrifices in order to create a foundation for survival in the global economy. But the impending trade agreement with Japan, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), could jeopardize thousands of American auto jobs.
How exactly would this affect American jobs? Japan has a notoriously closed market when it comes to auto imports. As the Detroit News reports, imports from all countries account for just 6 percent of Japan’s auto market.
Japan also manipulates its currency in order to subsidize its automakers. The TPP would potentially drop U.S. tariffs on Japanese imports and give Japan an added advantage over U.S. automakers. Dropping the tariffs would make autos from Japan cheaper to import while Japan maintains its current closed market practices.
Matt Blunt, president of American Automotive Policy Council, the trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three, stated:
To avoid locking in one-way trade and rewarding currency manipulation, the TPP must require Japan to fully open its market to competition and include strong and enforceable currency rules to prevent subsidies for Japanese automakers.
With Japan officially joining the TPP talks this week, 80,000 U.S. auto works from General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler Group LLC signed a petition urging congress to oppose TPP unless substantial changes are made on auto policy and currency.
Rep. Sander M Levin (D-Mich) has already shown his support. We look forward to seeing the same from other lawmakers.
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