In the same week that Peter DeLorenzo at Autoextremist takes GM to task for its poor PR efforts, the company decides to grow a pair. Not content with lashing out at Toyota over relative quality rankings, GM took its newfound attitude to Washington to complain about unfair Japanese trade practices. Specifically, allegations of currency fixing were aired. Did I just step into a early '90s time warp? Japan's yen has maintained its weakness compared to the dollar for many years, which means that imports gain a price advantage over domestics. Japan runs a trade surplus, which affords them a lot of flexibility with their currency valuation. On the other hand, the US runs a trade deficit… and a federal account deficit… and GM itself relies on nearly $300B in outside investment. All of those require a strong dollar to maintain the high levels of foreign investment necessary to fund such debt. In other words, the whole situation is something the US and its companies have brought upon itself, and I don't see where a GM-employed economist and a few sympathetic congressmen nodding in unison are going to help the problem.
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