WASHINGTON May 9 U.S. automakers called on
Congress to take action in response to the falling value of the
Japanese yen, which they said has hurt their exports and was a
good reason to keep Japan out of a proposed U.S.-led free trade
"It's time for U.S. lawmakers to say they have had enough,"
American Automotive Policy Council President Matt Blunt said in
a statement on Thursday, as the dollar rose to its highest value
in over four years, blasting through the 100-yen mark.
The group represents the Detroit Three automakers Ford
, GM and Chrysler, a unit of the Italian automaker
Fiat. It sees Japanese efforts to revive its economy
through an expansionary monetary policy as a deliberate attempt
to drive down the yen to bolster Japanese exports.
"The depth of Japanese currency manipulation has reached a
new low. Japan's monetary policies aimed at weakening the yen
continue to boost Japan's economy and exports at the expense of
its trade partners, especially the United States," Blunt said.
Every time the yen weakens it "results in fewer American
exports and jobs and is a further reason why Japan should not be
included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership," he added.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a proposed free
trade agreement between the United States and now 11 other
countries in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan was welcomed
into the talks last month.
President Barack Obama's administration is now consulting
with Congress on negotiating objectives for Japan.
Tokyo won't participate in the 17th round of TPP talks
scheduled this month in Lima, but is expected to join the
negotiations at the 18th round in July.
U.S. automakers, particularly Ford, lobbied hard to keep
Japan out of the TPP. Although that effort failed, the White
House has promised tough negotiations to tackle regulatory and
other "non-tariff" barriers that Detroit says have long kept
U.S. autos out of the Japanese market.