U.S. automakers push currency provisions in trade deals

U.S. automakers expressed frustration on Tuesday that trade negotiators aren’t pushing harder to include currency rules in international trade agreements.

The American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), which represents the big three auto companies, said they are “alarmed” that the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Hanoi have ended without the subject being discussed.

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"After 21 rounds of TPP negotiations, we remain alarmed that a key priority for the U.S. Congress has been ignored,” said AAPC President Matt Blunt.

"Today, a full year after bipartisan majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate called for currency rules in trade deals, the administration still has not taken concrete steps to negotiate a solution to this trade-distorting behavior.”

During the congressional recess, Blunt took his message to manufacturing-heavy states such as Ohio and North Carolina to gin up more grassroots business support for the idea.

He recently told the Hill that support is increasing in Congress where a majority has called for some type of action on the issue. He said it is well past time for the White House to raise the issue in these ongoing trade talks.

Many key lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol have said they won’t consider a TPP agreement without some kind of avenue toward enforceable currency measures.

"The TPP has the potential to open new markets and boost commerce in each of the member nations, but only if the agreement creates a level playing field for all of the partner countries," he said.