DEARBORN - At Ford, we continue to be a strong supporter of free trade. It is the foundation of our business. As 21st century trade agreements are negotiated, we believe they must reflect high standards and address the real barriers in the marketplace, of which the most prominent and serious is currency manipulation.
@Ford recently received an update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from Ford Group Vice President for Government and Community Relations Ziad Ojakli. Below are excerpts from that discussion.
What is the latest on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and currency?
We are so pleased that this week 60 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Obama administration stating their strong position that currency disciplines should be included in future trade pacts. In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “Currency manipulation can negate or greatly reduce the benefits of a free trade agreement and may have a devastating impact on American companies and workers.” Coming on the heels of a similar letter that was signed by 230 members of Congress, a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, there is strong bipartisan and bicameral support for enforceable currency provisions in the TPP.
What helped U.S. lawmakers support Ford’s position?
YOU! This is a clear example of how Ford employees can make a difference. Both our salaried and hourly employees participated in a petition drive with GM, Chrysler and our UAW partners. Collectively, we produced more than 80,000 signatures to underscore the importance of negotiating trade agreements that ensure there is a level playing field. Because when global trading rules are fair and enforced, Ford will compete and win in the global economy.
What happens next on TPP?
The letter from the U.S. Senate is very timely as President Obama heads to Bali, Indonesia next week to meet with the leaders of the other TPP nations. The Senate’s strong showing of support sends a clear signal to President Obama that this issue is a priority for U.S. lawmakers, who ultimately must approve all trade agreements negotiated by the administration. As we have seen, international trade negotiations take a long time to complete. That is why in the months ahead Ford will continue to be vigilant in advocating our view that a trade agreement with Japan should not be completed until Japan stops manipulating its currency and opens its closed market.