Take it from the respected economist: QE and currency manipulation aren't the same thing

Posted by mmcmullan on 11/21/2013

Michael Froman, the United States Trade Representative, is starting to take heed to the chorus of businesses and legislators who want to see a rule that would punish currency manipulators make its way into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement:

Froman is referring to the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing (QE) policies that have poured lots of duckets into our domestic economy in the last few years in order to get it moving again. But, lest anyone think otherwise, QE and currency manipulation are two different things. For one, no one is saying the dollar is significantly undervalued. And America runs a big ol' economy-sapping trade deficits year after year, hardly the hallmark of a manipulated currency.

But don’t take it from me: One of the more respected economists in the rap game, C. Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute of International Economics, draws a clear line between the Fed’s actions and those of some of our trading partners. He spells it out at the 9:23 mark in the video below:

Now that said, it’s good to see that the trade representative acknowledges that currency manipulation is problem. But if our trade agreements aren’t the place to address it, it would be great to hear some suggestions as to where instead we should do so. Any ideas, Mr. Froman?

Read C. Fred Bergsten’s remarks on currency manipulation here.

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