Nebraska Farmers Union Strongly Opposes Proposed Flawed TPP Over Failure to Address Currency Manipulation


For Immediate Release                                                        

Contact:  John Hansen 402-476-8815

October 5, 2015                                                               

Nebraska Farmers Union Strongly Opposes Proposed Flawed TPP Over Failure to Address Currency Manipulation

Lincoln, NE:  John Hansen, President of Nebraska Farmers Union, a former USTR trade advisor for 14 years under Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama issued the following statement on behalf of his organization:
“The recently finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will perform in a manner consistent with the other cookie cutter agreements the U.S. has agreed to since Congress approved NAFTA in 1993.  Instead of remedying the structural shortfalls in past agreements relative to currency manipulation, TPP amplifies those weaknesses.”
“Unlike when NAFTA was considered, Congress has twenty years of data to use to evaluate the U.S. trade policy performance.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, since 1994, our nation has averaged an annual balance of trade deficit of $428.69 billion while digging a $9 trillion balance of trade cumulative deficit by ignoring the real world impacts of currency manipulation and the disparities caused by VATs (Value Added Taxes).  The 2014  U.S. trade deficit was $504.7 billion, which represents 3% of our nation’s GNP.  If we had balanced trade, our economy would be growing at twice the rate it is currently.  Not once since 1994 has the U.S. balance of trade been close to breaking even.  How bad does it have to get before Congress stops digging the trade deficit hole our country is in deeper?”
“We know what the problem is, yet USTR has failed to come to grips with the widely understood problem of currency manipulation.  The TPP is structurally similar to NAFTA, and will produce similar damage to our U.S. manufacturing, labor, and agricultural sectors.  Our nation can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to currency manipulation.  The USTR will not deal with currency manipulation as long as Congress continues to rubber stamp trade agreements that fail to deal with currency manipulation.  As a result, in the strategic economic interests of our nation, it should be rejected.”
“Agricultural interests will not be well served with this agreement.  Like all previous agreements, TPP dangles the prospect and promise of new markets is used to get everyone’s hopes up to secure ag based support, yet when the trade data comes in, food and ag imports increase at a faster rate than food and ag exports. As in most ventures, past experience is the best guide to future performance.”
Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 5,671 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities.  Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives.

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