Ford CEO Opposes Japan-US Free Trade Talks, Cites Yen Worry image

Ford’s CEO expressed his discontent regarding the devaluation of the yen and his opposition to Japan entering free-trade talks with the US.

“The markets should determine the exchange rate,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally told a small group of reporters in Bangkok, referring to what he said was “the devaluing of the yen”. “It’s the most closed automobile market in the world. They should open up their market, they should restructure their industry, and that’s why we’re encouraging the people negotiating the free trade agreements that they deal with that.”

This year the yen has dropped around 8% against the dollar, due to Tokyo’s monetary and fiscal policies. It is not the first time when Ford expresses its opposition to Japan entering the free-trade talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, since the country refuses to open its auto market to more US vehicles. The countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks are expected to take a decision regarding Tokyo’s interest by April.

Earlier this month Japan asked permission to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, but the UAW, the majority of Congress and Detroit’s Big Three oppose letting the Asian country join the TPP.

“We have a long history with Japan on automotive issues. It’s a serious concern to the president and we are working very hard to ensure that should Japan join the TPP that we are able to address the long-standing issues that we have in the auto sector,” said Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis.