Senate passes trade bill, votes down currency manipulation amendment

The U.S. Senate Friday night (5/22) past important foreign trade legislation, but left out an important change that AIM feels is necessary to make deals with countries that can manipulate their currencies unfairly.

The so-called Portman-Stabenow amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority bill would have required new currency manipulation standards to be part of any future trade bills. AIM supported the amendment and in a last ditch calling effort, urged Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill to support the amendment. McCaskill was the last Senator to record a vote on the amendment which came up just short of passage, 51-48.

It is AIM’s contention that new trade agreements without some kind of agreement to not do business with countries that can change currency rules to benefit themselves are a hollow victory at best.

There is still time to get the manipulation standards into the TPA as it makes its way through the House of Representatives, where the bill faces a rough ride with some Republicans and Democrats against the bill. We will continue our efforts to see that currency manipulation language remains on the table, and a viable inclusion into the TPA that comes out of the House.

You can read an excellent article on the TPA debate from CNN by following this link.