FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (September 25, 2015) – Just days before trade officials look to wrap up negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement warning against a deal that does not contain enforceable currency manipulation provisions:
“Congress and the administration are truly playing ostrich if they commit this nation to yet another massive trade deal without first addressing currency manipulation. Currency manipulation has become our trade competitors’ favorite ‘best gimmick’ for skirting these massive trade deals as soon as they sign them.
“On the surface, trade deals appear to be creating a level playing field for all involved, since they tend to reduce or remove tariffs and export subsidies. Yet before the deals become effective, nations simply devalue their currency, immediately reducing the cost of their goods to us, and immediately increasing the cost of our goods to them. There went the level playing field.
“China, along with many of the nations eager to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – such as Vietnam in August – has used this tactic to ensure the playing field is not level. The net result is that the more of these deals we enter, the larger our trade deficit becomes.
“Our current trade deficit sits at $505 billion. It has not only drained our workforce of millions of good-paying jobs, but has also weighed down the U.S. economy between 2.5 to 5.5 percent every year for the last decade.
“Frankly, America’s hard working family farmers and ranchers, factory workers and others deserve better. If we sign yet another agreement without first addressing currency manipulation, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.