December 11, 2013: US Trade Rep has not discussed this "currency manipulation" everyone keeps talking about

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/11/2013

Good morning,

The latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations wrapped recently in Singapore, and nope, there won’t be any deal by year’s end. Too much distance remains between the U.S. and Japan on issues including agricultural and auto tariffs, reports the Japan Times. Australia has beef with American demands on copyright protections, writes Emma Woollacott for Forbes. And U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman hasn’t even raised the issue of currency manipulation during the talks.

Wait. What?

Yeah, that’s right. Despite majorities in both the House and Senate that want a rule in the TPP punishing currency manipulation, the trade rep has not yet deemed it worthy of discussion with his counterparts. Maybe Froman’s playing the long game or something?

We doubt it, though Froman undoubtedly knows that tipping the currency scales allows a country to subsidize its exports essentially taxing incoming American goods. It’s not cool, and there’s a rising chorus out there that doesn’t think a TPP without a currency rule is worth it. Will the trade rep hear it? Maybe not ... he seems to have other interests he'd rather listen to.

Elsewhere around the web:

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Oh my gosh, you haven’t. Get up! Get off the couch! But when you hit the bricks, try to Buy American. In a Huffington Post opinion, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul and Alex Bogusky from the Made Movement make the case for American-made gifts:

From athletic footwear to flatscreen TVs, there are companies manufacturing in America today. And while you may expect to pay a premium for American-made quality, you'd be surprised at how easily those on tight budgets can find gifts at competitive prices.

Read the whole thing right here.

BMW may expand its North American operations with an engine plant in 2014, reports Christoph Rauwald for Bloomberg. The German car company currently has one U.S. manufacturing plant in South Carolina. BMW looks to capitalize on growing demand in the U.S. and avoid currency effects that result when shipping engines from Europe to the North American market.

It looks like Washington is finally working as the year comes to a close with the Murray-Ryan budget deal. But there’s one thing missing, note Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas for the Washington Post: Unemployment insurance, specifically for the long-term unemployed. And there are no plans to include it in the future. That's a bad idea, say Klein and Soltas:

They're often stuck in areas of the country where jobs are scarce. They face a vicious cycle of employment discrimination in which employers don't want to hire them because they've been unemployed for so long, which in turn extends their unemployment and makes it even harder for them to find a job. And now we're just cutting them loose.

Of note:

And seriously, it’s gift-giving season, America. While you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at AAM hope you keep your purchases Made in the U.S.A.

Why? AAM President Scott Paul said it thusly:

We consume too much from overseas, and we don’t produce enough here to make up the difference. That burdens us with debt and leaves us with fewer jobs. There is a solution and it may sound quaint, but it’s never been truer than it is today: Buy American.

Easier said than done? Not if we help you out! We’ve posted a list of 51 American-made gifts suggestions, one from every state (and the District of Columbia). Throughout the month of December we’ll continue providing you with ideas, tips, and tricks. So check out our Holiday page often, as we’ll update it frequently.

Have an American-made gift that you’re giving, or coveting? We want to hear about it. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA or email us: info [at] aamfg [dot] org.

Happy Hump Day, America!

-AAM

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