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Foster Calls For Strong Protections Against Currency Manipulation In TPA

Jun 11, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC— As the House prepares to consider Fast Track trade authority, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) wrote Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi urging them to include strong, enforceable rules on currency manipulation in the Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA”) legislation.

“I have consistently stated that I will only support Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement if they net out positively for good paying jobs in my district. It is impossible to guarantee that without enforceable provisions to address currency manipulation,” said Foster. “Any TPA that is proposed without these provisions in place undermines other benefits secured in any proposed trade deal. Confidence that the TPA directs the Administration to secure meaningful rules on currency manipulation is crucial to building the support necessary for broad bipartisan passage of the bill.”

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:

I write to you to express my concern that the authority conveyed in the Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA”) legislation to be considered in the House of Representatives as early as this week does not contain sufficient direction to the Administration on negotiating strong, enforceable rules on currency manipulation.

The United States generally has very low tariffs and few behind the border restrictions that distort international trade. Given the high barriers U.S. businesses face with many of our trading partners, both through tariffs and other measures, properly negotiated free trade agreements can have a positive impact on good-paying American jobs. However, that has not held true for trade agreements involving countries that have continued large-scale currency manipulation. This underscores the fact that creating and protecting good-paying jobs, particularly in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, requires real commitments to restrain currency manipulation by our trade partners.

As you know, the Senate rejected an amendment offered by Senators Portman and Stabenow that would have provided as a negotiating objective the direction to secure strong, enforceable currency manipulation rules based on the standards of the International Monetary Fund. Instead, the negotiating objective on currency manipulation merely encourages the Administration “to seek to establish accountability.”

It is possible to craft a strong, objective definition of currency manipulation—such as the definition used by the IMF—that, together with mandatory and enforceable sanctions, would allow legitimate management of any nation’s monetary policy, including quantitative easing, while prohibiting currency manipulation on the scale that has caused massive damage to U.S. industry in the past.

Any TPA that is proposed without these provisions in place undermines other benefits secured in any proposed trade deal. Confidence that the TPA directs the Administration to secure meaningful rules on currency manipulation is crucial to building the support necessary for broad bipartisan passage of the bill. I encourage its inclusion in the bill brought to the floor.

 

Sincerely,

Bill Foster

Member of Congress

 

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