WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Mike Michaud is again urging President Obama to directly address currency manipulation in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Michaud wrote to the President following recent testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Capitol Hill, in which he said currency manipulation has not been discussed in trade talks.
"There is just no way to ignore the fact that any trade deal must be negotiated with the best interests of the average American worker as the top priority. Ignoring pressing issues like currency manipulation is an indicator to me that those interests are, unfortunately, not a top priority for those negotiating on behalf of the United States," said Rep. Michaud. "We owe American workers a fair trade agreement -- not a free trade agreement that essentially ships their jobs overseas. Our workers are some of the best in the world -- but they deserve the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. That's not happening right now."
Michaud wrote to President Obama last month, in advance of his trip to Asia, urging him to raise currency manipulation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Last week, Michaud participated in a rally with other lawmakers to demonstrate his opposition to fast-tracking TPP through Congress -- essentially allowing lawmakers only an up or down vote on the issue, with no room for amendments.
Members on both sides of the aisle support efforts to advance meaningful currency protections in future trade agreements. In fact, 230 House members and 60 Senators are on the record calling for greater engagement from the White House on the issue.
"We can't just stand by and allow TPP negotiations to go forward without addressing these critical issues," added Michaud. "I spent three decades on the floor of a mill, and I know what it's like when other countries receive an unfair competitive advantage. I'm not willing to allow that to happen this time around."
The text of Michaud's most recent letter to Obama is available here.