National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson today denounced the Chinese government’s recent decision to devalue its currency, an unfair move that hurts U.S. family farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to export goods to China. Johnson called for the administration to ensure currency manipulation is prohibited in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
“This deliberate currency manipulation by the United States’ second largest trading partner, and largest supplier of goods imports, is a prime example for why the U.S. needs to prioritize meaningful measures to address currency manipulation with our trading partners,” said Johnson in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman. “NFU strongly urges the administration to include a prohibition on currency manipulation in the TPP to protect the U.S. from unfair trading practices and preserve jobs across America.”
Johnson noted that currency manipulation is the most significant contributor to the massive U.S. trade deficit. In 2014, the trade deficit with China alone was $343 billion.
“The overall U.S. trade deficit with all trading partners was $505 billion, a 3 percent drag yearly on our national GDP,” said Johnson. “We have lost millions of additional jobs as a result of currency manipulation and the resultant trade deficit.”
Johnson noted that while China is not currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, NFU is concerned with the potential ripple effect that China’s currency devaluation could have on other countries currently in the negotiations, since several of them also have a history of currency manipulation.
“China’s actions clearly illustrate the need for the U.S. to refuse to allow our trading partners to bend the rules,” noted Johnson. “There must be consequences for currency manipulation, and there must be a prohibition on currency manipulation in the final TPP agreement.”