Rob Portman's Amendment on Currency Manipulation Fails

A controversial amendment on currency manipulation offered by Senator Rob Portman failed narrowly on a bipartisan vote of 51-48 on Friday. The bipartisan amendment, introduced by the Ohio Republican and Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, was offered to the legislation before Congress that would give the president “fast track trade authority”. It would have cracked down on countries that manipulate their currencies and is particularly targeted towards concerns that Japan and Malaysia have manipulated their currencies in the past to increase exports. If the amendment had passed, secretary of the treasury Jack Lew had stated he would urge President Obama to veto the bill if the Portman language made it to his desk. Japan and Malaysia are two of the 14 countries that have signed up for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.