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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell on currency manipulation and a level playing field

Jun 3, 2015

Leaders of Trans Pacific Partnership member states and prospective member states at a summit in 2010.
Credit user Gobierno de Chile / flickr

Michigan’s congressional delegation is divided on a major trade deal before the House this week.

Supporters say the "Trans Pacific Partnership" will boost jobs by expanding exports.

But opponents, like Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, say the trade deal doesn’t address human rights and currency manipulation issues.

“I know our worker, you know our worker,” says Dingell, drawing on her background in the auto industry. “We can compete with anybody in the world. We build the best product. But we can’t compete with the Bank of Japan or the Japanese government.”

Currency manipulation, she says, puts Japan at an unfair economic advantage that would only be exacerbated by the TPP.

“I think it’s great to say we’ve opened a market, but we haven’t done anything for ourselves if we’re not playing on a level playing field,” Dingell says.

Dingell tells us that until currency manipulation is dealt with, we won’t have that level playing field.

“I’m in this to fight for my work, in this state, that needs a fair opportunity for their job,” she says. “This one’s easy for me.”

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell talks more about the TPP and the state of the Highway Trust Fund in our conversation above.