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International Trade

Total U.S. exports for 2014 are $1.62 trillion. Automotive products represent 8.70% of that total, or more than $140 billion in 2014. Automakers and suppliers are America’s largest exporters, beating the next best performing manufacturing sector by more than $80 billion over the past 5 years. In 2013 alone, FCA US, Ford and General Motors exported nearly 1 million American-made vehicles to more than 100 different foreign markets.

Top Five U.S. Exporters (2014, in billions)


As America’s largest exporters, FCA US, Ford and General Motors have supported every U.S. free trade agreement ratified. These agreements have reduced tariffs and eliminated numerous non-tariff trade barriers in key markets. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could generate similar benefits for U.S. exporters, but only if key issues are addressed:

  • Eliminate all auto non-tariff barriers in all TPP-member countries.
  • Include strong, enforceable currency manipulation disciplines (This is vital, due to Japan’s participation in the TPP).

Currency Manipulation by Japan undermines global competition in three ways:

  1. Makes it harder to export American vehicles to Japan;
  2. Provides Japanese automakers with an unfair competitive advantage in the United States; and,
  3. Makes it harder for American companies to compete with Japanese automobiles in other markets, like South America, China, Europe and the Middle East.

AAPC developed a proposal supported by leading non-partisan trade experts that is based on International Monetary Fund commitments already agreed to by all TPP member countries. It asks three simple questions to determine if a TPP member manipulates its currency:

  1. Did the TPP member have a current account surplus over the six-month period in question?
  2. Did it add to its foreign exchange reserves over that same six-month period?
  3. Are its foreign exchange reserves more than sufficient (i.e., greater than three months normal imports)?

If a TPP member is found to have breached its currency commitments under the agreement, the other TPP members shall be entitled to suspend the tariff benefits of the agreement with respect to the violating TPP member.

In an industry where automakers earn about $1,500 on a typical vehicle, Japan’s undervalued currency represents thousands of dollars per vehicle.

Weak Yen Subsidy Per Car in U.S.


Based on the October 1, 2012 rate of 78 yen/$, when Abenomics started.
3-4% profit margin on sedan. Source: McKinsey & Company, 2003 Preface to the Auto Sector Cases

 

Sep 10 2014
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

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.

Sep 10 2014
Written by Vicki Needham | Posted on The Hill

U.S. automakers expressed frustration on Tuesday that trade negotiators aren’t pushing harder to include currency rules in international trade agreements.

The American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), which represents the big three auto companies, said they are “alarmed” that the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Hanoi have ended without the subject being discussed.

"After 21 rounds of TPP negotiations, we remain alarmed that a key priority for the U.S. Congress has been ignored,” said AAPC President Matt Blunt.

Sep 09 2014

For Immediate Release:
September 9, 2014
Contact: Colin Dunn
info@americanautocouncil.org
(202) 400 - 2609
 


AAPC Statement on the Conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Hanoi, Vietnam

Sep 09 2014
Written by Len Bracken | Posted on Bloomberg BNA

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.