U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman promises substance in TPP

Posted by TGarland on 10/30/2013

Certainly we’re going to let the substance of the negotiation determine ultimately the deadline.”
-U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman, 10.29.13

That's what we at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) like to hear. For months now, we’ve heard President Obama and others in his administration commit to completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement by year-end. But it seems there are too many issues left unsettled to push a deal through so quickly.

Froman acknowledged some of those concerns on Tuesday morning:

The leaders have set the objective of completing negotiations this year. That’s an ambitious objective, and certainly we’re going to let the substance of the negotiation determine ultimately the deadline.

Froman also conceded that not all demands will be met in the final TPP agreement. AAM hopes Froman will hold firm on one suggestion: protecting U.S. companies from currency manipulation.

Several key leaders have spoken publicly about the need for currency manipulation provisions in the trade deal. 60 Senators and 230 House Representatives have signed letters to the Administration on this issue. And U.S. automakers have also expressed concern with Japan’s trade practices and limited access to that country’s auto markets.

We’re hoping such concerns translate into currency manipulation provisions in the trade deal. But we won’t hold our breath. You can urge President Obama to get tough on currency manipulation via the TPP.

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