Trade rep on currency in the TPP: "Not as of yet"

Posted by mmcmullan on 05/01/2014

President Obama has finished up his trip through Asia, which began last week with a visit to Japan. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was way up on the agenda as the president sat down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but the leaders parted without securing a deal.

But those aren’t the only the talks going on. The administration’s top trade negotiator, Michael Froman, made the case for the TPP today in front of a sometimes-skeptical Senate Finance Committee.

Some were more skeptical than others. Queue New York Senator Chuck Schumer:

Strong language on currency manipulation is a vital first step to earning Democratic support to passing TPP in the Senate. We'll have to look at every aspect of the deal. But I think nothing can give TPP a fighting chance of being passed more than strong currency reforms.

The Obama administration thinks bringing up currency will scuttle the talks, and they’ve deferred the issue to the Treasury Department on the regular. But the Treasury Department consistently passes on answering the currency question, too. In fact, Treasury twists itself in knots to not name anyone a currency manipulator despite ample evidence of the practice.

So Schumer asked Froman if a currency rule has even been discussed in the TPP negotiations.

“Not as of yet,” the trade representative said.

That’s unfortunate. Majorites in both the House and Senate want such a rule. It’ll be interesting to see how far the TPP will go on Capitol Hill without one.

Related recent Blogs

@KeepitMadeinUSA on Twitter

  • A good sign? More laid-off workers are finding jobs in their fields. 40 min 26 sec ago
  • .@royhouseman from @steelworkers talked about what's next for #SOSJobs on @BloombergNews. Check it out: 1 hour 25 min ago
  • ICYMI: Our @ScottPaulAAM chatted w/ @EdShow about why it's so vital we level the playing field for U.S. tire makers. 1 hour 42 min ago
  • Obama admin placed tariffs on China-made tires, but expired. Hope tariffs are put back in place, but we also must be more proactive. #edshow 17 hours 10 min ago
  • Countries like China subsidize tires they produce. Tariffs level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers & workers, says @ScottPaulAAM. 17 hours 12 min ago
  • "Tariffs help to level the playing field -- nothing more and nothing less." -@ScottPaulAAM 17 hours 13 min ago
  • On @EdShow NOW: Unfair trade practices mean tire manufacturing workers are struggling to keep their jobs... 17 hours 15 min ago
  • Our @ScottPaulAAM will be on the @EdShow in the next segment... tune in NOW! 17 hours 25 min ago
  • .@royhouseman on Taking Stock @pimmfox: U.S. steel producers can compete in a growing market as long as the playing field is level #SOSjobs 17 hours 50 min ago
  • If domestic OCTG producers can compete in a growing market it will provide the an opportunity for significant growth. -@royhouseman #SOSjobs 17 hours 52 min ago