Monday, November 9, 2015
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., last month, says the pact announced on Thursday it will hold countries that want to manipulate their currencies accountable.
The United States and 11 other countries have signed an agreement aimed at discouraging currency manipulation, a practice critics say has widened the U.S. trade gap with countries such as China.
Under the agreement, countries promise to avoid "Unfair currency practices and refrain from competitive devaluation."
In an e-mailed statement to NPR, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, called the agreement "a glorified press release sent out jointly by the countries."
"It's essentially giving more tools and data for the Treasury Department to push its financial diplomacy with partner countries."
Currency manipulation occurs when countries artificially lower the value of their currencies, which makes their exports cheaper but hurts competitors in other countries.
China has long been accused of manipulation, although not as much in recent years, as the value of the yuan has risen. Among TPP signatories, Vietnam is sometimes accused of the practice as well. Below are the 12 countries included in the TPP.
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