The Obama administration must insist that U.S. trading partners pledge not to manipulate currencies when negotiating trade deals, the Senate Committee on Finance chairman said on Friday.
In a speech laying out his conditions for supporting trade deals, Republican Orrin Hatch said addressing currency concerns was key to winning lawmakers' support for a bill to fast-track trade agreements through Congress, and deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"Pretending these concerns don't exist will not suffice," he told the American Enterprise Institute.
"The administration must engage much more effectively with Congress on this issue if they want to receive strong support for TPA (trade promotion authority) and any subsequent trade agreements."
Lawmakers from both parties are pushing the U.S. administration to take a stronger stand against trading partners which seek to gain an edge with a weaker currency, which makes their exports cheaper. But President Barack Obama told House Democrats on Thursday that including provisions against currency manipulation in deals currently under negotiation was unworkable, one member of Congress who was in the room said.