August 20, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (August 20, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today again urged the administration to ensure that the final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement include strong language against currency manipulation, which has been used recently by two of our trading partners – and consistently by other potential signatories of the TPP – to gain the edge on America’s farmers and ranchers.

“The devaluation of Vietnam’s currency this week and China’s last week underscores that mercantilism is alive and well around the world,” said Johnson. “Congress and the administration should take note that while many nations claim to be willing to drop blatant barriers in the name of free trade, they’re busy erecting new barriers on the side.”

Vietnam is a planned signatory onto the TPP, and will benefit from the elimination of trade barriers by many countries – like the U.S. – where it hopes to gain market share.

“The U.S. needs to prioritize meaningful measures to address currency manipulation with our trading partners,” said Johnson, who urged the administration to be wide-eyed and cautious moving forward with TPP negotiations. “Any major trade agreement that doesn’t have strong and enforceable language against currency manipulation isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” said Johnson.

Johnson pointed out that currency manipulation is the most significant contributor to the massive U.S. trade deficit, which exceeded $505 billion in 2014.

“The trade deficit keeps growing because everyone seems to be watching out for their own best interests but the U.S.,” said Johnson. “The overall U.S. trade deficit is a 3 percent drag yearly on our national Gross Domestic Product and is robbing rural America and domestic agriculture of its potentially bright future” said Johnson.

“If the TPP is signed without strong provisions against currency manipulation, that deficit will just continue to grow,” he said.

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.


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