Sen. Lindsey Graham said he doesn’t intend to support trade promotion authority legislation unless it is accompanied by stronger language to prevent currency manipulation.
“Not unless they get a better deal on currency, no,” the South Carolina Republican said when asked about his support for the bill before today’s caucus lunches.
[by Adam Behsudi | April 21, 2015 | Politico Pro]
Graham voted against similar legislation in 2002 but supported the Colombia, South Korea and Panama trade deals in 2011.
A number of amendments on currency manipulation are expected to emerge at a Senate Finance Committee markup of the bill and other trade legislation Wednesday.
Debbie Stabenow said she plans to offer a “compromise amendment that basically strengthens the language they have in there to make sure that there are enforceable currency mechanisms.
“We don’t say what they are,” the Michigan Democrat told reporters before heading into her caucus lunch.
Stabenow is expected to offer the amendment with Ohio Republican Rob Portman.
Charles Schumer could also offer currency language similar to legislation he introduced earlier this year that that would allow U.S. manufacturers to win countervailing duties on goods from countries that deliberately undervalue their currency for a trade advantage. Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said earlier today that he wanted to keep the issue out of the TPA bill.
The White House agreed with Hatch, cautioning that “not all approaches to addressing currency would have a positive impact for American workers and companies.”
“We are opposed to enforceable currency disciplines because of the risk they create to our ability to create jobs and protect our economy,” a White House official told POLITICO this morning. “We also oppose the current Senate legislation that attempts to address currency using trade remedies because it would be difficult to administer, raises questions of consistency with our international obligations, and could even be counterproductive.”