American businesses could be hiring more workers today if we ended unfair trade practices used by some of our trading partners. No matter how competitive companies are in Ohio, they struggle to keep up with foreign competitors that are given an unearned advantage because of currency manipulation.
Currency manipulation may sound more like an idea discussed in Washington than on the assembly lines of Cleveland, but local businesses are put at a competitive disadvantage by it. Currency manipulation is a 21st century trade barrier used by foreign governments to support their domestic industries. This means when countries like Japan use it to boost their industries, American companies and workers feel the pain.
What is currency manipulation? Essentially, it’s when a country buys a foreign currency (primarily U.S. dollars) with its own currency, which decreases the value of its currency. This makes the country’s products less expensive in the United States and American products more expensive in that foreign country. It can also make the country’s products cheaper relative to American products in other countries where we compete head to head, hurting the competitiveness of the American products in those markets. For American automakers, who are huge exporters, currency manipulation can have an outsized impact on local hiring and investment decisions.