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Automakers seek free trade agreement with currency manipulation stipulations to grow sales in Asia

Automakers, including General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., are hopeful a free trade agreement with currency manipulation stipulations will help grow sales in markets such as Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said Wednesday that Japan is his biggest worry on getting a deal done.

“If Japan retains the ability to manipulate its currency, the largest market outside the U.S. in TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) will remain closed to the U.S.,” he said at a U.S. Commercial Service business forum in Detroit.

U.S., Japan ‘Really Making Efforts' To Strike Deal in Auto Talks, Mori Says

he U.S. and Japan are “really making efforts to strike a deal” as soon as possible in bilateral auto negotiations related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Japanese TPP Ambassador Takeo Mori said Sept. 5.

In remarks to reporters following three days of negotiations with acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler in Washington, Mori said that the talks are at the “endgame” stage, but he declined to estimate when they would be concluded.

Ford Will See if New Mustang Turns Heads Overseas

Ford Motor Co. F +0.19%  will measure global demand for the redesigned Mustang sports car heading into the second quarter of 2015 to determine whether it adds a third shift to the Michigan plant where it is built, a top executive said Thursday.

The Flat Rock plant has two crews working to build the Mustang and the Fusion sedan. The first 2015 Mustang, fully redesigned this year to be aimed at a global audience, came off the line at the plant Thursday.

All-New 2015 Ford Mustang Begins Production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant; Marks Global Availability of Iconic Pony Car

The highly anticipated, all-new Ford Mustang rolls off the line today at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, marking production of the sixth-generation pony car. For the first time in its 50-year history, Mustang will be available globally to customers in more than 120 countries around the world.

The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s global vehicle lineup will allow the iconic pony car to be exported to more than 25 right-hand-drive markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

Groups Call For Tough Policy on Foreign Currency Manipulation

Leaders from three manufacturing groups held a news conference, calling on Congress, the White House and trade negotiators to get tough on countries engaged in currency manipulation.

China is their primary target, having tied the value of its dollar to the U.S. dollar instead of allowing it to be determined in foreign exchange markets.

They said U.S. manufacturing may be on a post-recession rebound, but it's being undermined by China's, Vietnam's and a handful of other countries' practice of currency manipulation.