December 5, 2013: Another voice for a currency rule in the TPP

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/05/2013

Good morning,

You, dear reader, probably already know that the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) doesn’t think much of currency manipulation. You’ve heard the drill: When a country keeps its currency artificially low, it effectively subsidizes its exports by taxing the exports of its trading partner. And because the American dollar is the chief currency of the globe, the trading partner whose exports take the hit is usually us, the U.S. of A.

That’s why American industry has been pushing to include a rule in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would prohibit the practice. And while it certainly seems like the Obama administration and its chief negotiator, the US Trade Representative, are shrugging off such concerns, the chorus calling for a currency rule is getting louder. In today’s New York Times we found this from Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund:

Any reasonable trans-Pacific agreement should include mutually agreed-upon provisions that prohibit currency manipulation – along precisely the lines suggested by Mr. Bergsten and Mr. Gagnon.

If that means that the trade pact is harder to achieve, or even impossible, given the attitude of other countries, the United States should accept that outcome.

The Mr. Bergsten and Mr. Gagnon the author is referring to are the respected, centrist economists who also believe that currency manipulation damages the American economy.

The chorus grows! It swells! IT RISES. So come on, Michael Froman! Come on, Froman. Argue for a currency rule inthe TPP!

Elsewhere around the web:

Your boy Vice President Biden is in Asia: The Veep has wrapped his visit to China, and has now touched down in South Korea. In public comments with officials in Beijing, Biden said “regional hotspot issues keep cropping up,” but discussed the possibilities for cooperation if the U.S. and China “get the relationship right,” reports Bloomberg News. There’s a lot to that relationship, but we definitely need to get the economic one figured out.

ICYMI: New trade figures out yesterday from the Department of Commerce revealed a narrowing trade deficit due to the domestic energy boom. But that hasn’t meant more American jobs, writes Neil Irwin in the Washington Post. The oil and gas industry and its support activities only added 31,000 jobs in 12 months.

Last night: AAM President Scott Paul sat down with Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show to discuss Boeing’s recent decision to move part of its manufacturing hub out of Washington State. Be sure to check out the segment.

Howard Schneider of the Washington Post has more on this story.

It’s gift-giving season, America. While you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (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 Thursday, America!

-AAM

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