Saturday, October 13, 2018

Manipulating currencies - Trade agreements to your rescue?

Currency manipulation, trade agreements and solutions are in the news again. I have blogged a lot about this here, here, here, here, here and here. Also managed to write a small piece a few years ago here.

Image result for currency wars

The latest trade agreement that brings alive the question whether currency manipulation issues are appropriately placed in trade deals is the USMCA. The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement has a CHAPTER on currency manipulation. This is a step forward from the Joint Declaration in the erstwhile TPP.

This CSIS piece summarizes the new chapter and the impact. This CRS short note also throws light on the issues involved. The chapter is an integral part of the agreement and not a side agreement. It has provisions relating to transparency, prior consultation as well as an undertaking not to manipulate currency for competitive advantage. It also protects legitimate monetary policy space. Well, where one does draw the line there?

Is this a positive move for trade agreement negotiations, as suggested by this Peterson Institute piece? Will this increasingly become the norm in bilateral trade deals? It has been reported that the US is considering these provisions in all its future trade deals.

I thought it was 2013 that was the year of currency manipulation in trade agreements. Five years later, the knock seems louder. 

Trade Agreements 2.0?

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