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Trade war

US autoworkers union asks that Japan be kept from weakening yen

UAW representative says such a provision should be part of trade negotiations

A U.S. auto union alleges Japan is weakening its currency, creating an unfair advantage for vehicles like these awaiting export in Yokohama.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. autoworkers union has called on the federal government to demand that Japan cease guiding the yen lower, which it alleges has put U.S.-made cars at a competitive disadvantage.

A representative from the United Auto Workers, one of four groups attending an International Trade Commission hearing on Thursday, asserted the U.S. should introduce provisions in a trade deal with Japan that strongly and effectively bind the country from manipulating the value of its currency.

The UAW representative said Japan has excessive production capacity that it deals with by erecting market barriers like a weak currency and by exporting in large numbers.

The representative was speaking at a hearing ahead of U.S.-Japan trade talks to assess the economic impact of lowering U.S. tariffs.

The ITC is scheduled to come up with an assessment and submit it by late January to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The USTR plans to hold its own hearing regarding trade talks with Japan on Monday, when industry representatives will express their views. The trade body will considers these opinions in setting goals for the negotiations with Japan.

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