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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Michigan Delegation Freshmen Urge Administration to Address Currency Manipulation

May 1, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – As negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement move forward, the five freshmen members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation today sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, urging them to include enforceable measures to prevent currency manipulation, the biggest trade barrier of the 21stCentury.

“Failing to address currency manipulation could lessen or eliminate any benefits of a free trade agreement and leave American workers and American businesses at a continuing competitive disadvantage,” wrote Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Dave Trott (MI-11), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) and Mike Bishop (MI-08).

Economists have found that currency manipulation has already resulted in up to five million lost American jobs. Michigan has been particularly hard hit. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Michigan has lost 56,200 jobs due to the trade deficit with Japan, in large part as a result of currency manipulation. These job losses accounted for 1.34 percent of total state employment, the most of any state in the country.

“The working families in our communities expect us to come together to tackle the big issues that will strengthen job creation,” the representatives continued. “For that reason, we should respect the commitments all countries have already made on the matter as a part of the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization. Therefore, each country should be held accountable. As you continue to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we encourage you to pursue enforceable currency disciplines to prevent currency manipulation by our trading partners.” 

The letter can be read in full below.

 

The Honorable Jacob Lew
Secretary of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220
 
The Honorable Michael Froman
U.S. Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508
 

Dear Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman:

We share your commitment to supporting American workers and ensuring that American businesses are able to thrive in a global market.  To do so, we believe it is necessary to address currency manipulation by foreign governments, which is a serious trade problem of the 21st century. 

Failing to address currency manipulation could lessen or eliminate any benefits of a free trade agreement and leave American workers and American businesses at a continuing competitive disadvantage.  Economists have found that currency manipulation has already resulted in up to five million lost American jobs. 

The working families in our communities expect us to come together to tackle the big issues that will strengthen job creation.  For that reason, we should respect the commitments all countries have already made on the matter as a part of IMF and WTO.  Therefore, each country should be held accountable.  As you continue to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we encourage you to pursue enforceable currency disciplines to prevent currency manipulation by our trading partners.  We look forward to working with you on this going forward.  

Sincerely,