The image of U.S. President George Washington is seen on an engraving plate for a one dollar bill at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, November 14, 2014.
Gary Cameron / Courtesy Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature international economic initiative, and the centerpiece of his pivot to Asia, is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement of a dozen Asia-Pacific countries. But the partnership faces a major hurdle. Bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress insist that the TPP forcefully address the manipulation of exchange rates, the practice through which some countries keep their currencies artificially weak and thus unfairly make their exports more competitive. The U.S. auto industry, likewise, has indicated that it will oppose the TPP unless the issue is effectively addressed, and it has politically important supporters in the labor unions and the steel industry. At the same time, however, many observers believe that a U.S. effort to raise currency concerns would torpedo the agreement. There is a way to resolve this dilemma, but it will require new initiatives by the Obama administration, Congress, and

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  • C. FRED BERGSTEN is Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • More By C. Fred Bergsten