Levin Statement on Senate’s Currency Letter

Sep 24, 2013

230 House Members Sent Similar Letter in June

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) issued the below statement today after 60 senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urging that new rules against currency manipulation be included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The Senate letter comes after 230 House members in June sent a similar letter to the president insisting new rules against currency manipulation be included in the TPP negotiations. During a July speech, Ranking Member Levin laid out a currency proposal for the TPP negotiations. Separately, in March, he introduced currency manipulation legislation along with 100 co-sponsors.

“Majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate have now sent a clear message that any agreement on TPP to eliminate import duties must effectively prevent participating countries from manipulating their currencies,” said Ranking Member Levin. “As I have clearly stated, there is no point in negotiating a TPP agreement to eliminate import duties if countries are allowed to effectively reimpose those duties by manipulating their currencies.   We must continue to oppose an unfair competitive advantage from our trading partners, through legislation and trade agreements, with the ultimate goal of an enforceable global agreement on currency.”

BACKGROUND

The IMF currently has clear rules on currency manipulation but no effective enforcement mechanism.  The WTO has a strong enforcement mechanism but not everyone agrees on what the WTO currency rules mean.  In the TPP negotiations, the Administration must insist that the agreement combine clear rules -- based on existing guidelines that all countries have already accepted through the IMF – with strong enforcement.

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