Senators push for aggressive currency manipulation language

Senators push for aggressive currency manipulation language
© Francis Rivera

A bipartisan group of senators are calling on the Obama administration to more aggressively address currency manipulation through global trade agreements. 

Led by Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Stocks close with second day of steep losses | Dow falls over 800 points as coronavirus fears grow | Kudlow claims virus has been contained | US expects China to honor trade deal amid outbreak Hillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference MORE (D-Ohio) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way GOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE (R-Ohio), the lawmakers sent a letter on Tuesday to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requesting an update as to where the currency issue stands in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.

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“Recent comments by foreign TPP negotiators to Senate staff members suggest very little progress has been made on this issue,” the seven senators wrote. 

“We would appreciate your perspective as to the impact these devaluations are having on U.S. workers and your efforts to address them in the continuing TPP negotiations,” they wrote. 

Brown and Portman, among others, have repeatedly called for TPP negotiations to include strong provisions that address currency manipulation, which they argue hurts U.S. auto exports and workers.

They reiterated concerns about foreign countries devaluing their currency, including China, Vietnam and Korea, saying it “could lead to a pattern of competitive devaluation within the Asia-Pacific that could hurt U.S. workers and exports for years to come.”

“Thus, currency issues must be addressed seriously, aggressively and promptly.”

Along with Brown and Portman, the letter was also signed by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).