The Automotive Trade Policy Council, a Washington, DC-based non profit trade association representing DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors, has launched a new website focused on the harm it claims the Japanese government’s “yen subsidy” – “resulting from the continuing misalignment of the Japanese yen” – is causing to US automakers and the economy.


The website provides the council’s view of how the Japanese government ensures that the yen remains weak against the US dollar, how that policy creates a substantial subsidy for Japanese exports, the advantage this subsidy gives to Japanese automakers, and the impact it has on US auto manufacturers and the American economy.


The website includes a real-time display of the value of the yen relative to the dollar as well as studies, fact sheets, news articles and press releases about yen misalignment.


The site is targeted at policymakers and the media, the council said in a statement.


“Japan’s yen subsidy provides the average imported Japanese car a $US4,000 windfall cost advantage over US automakers and other competitors in the US market, ranging up to $10,000 per vehicle for higher end imported SUVs,” said Automotive Trade Policy Council president Stephen Collins.


“Japanese automakers today export 2.2m vehicles a year to the US – just as many as they did 20 years ago – primarily SUVs and luxury vehicles. Our companies welcome international competition, but it needs to be fair. It is time to take action to correct the imbalanced yen.”


The launch of the website follows Michigan Democrat senator Debbie Stabenow’s introduction last week of the Japanese Currency Manipulation Act, S 1021, which would require the administration to press Japan to end its yen subsidy and to coordinate with other major industrialised countries and the International Monetary Fund to put a stop to the damaging Japanese currency policy.


Also last week, the Peterson Institute for International Economics released a report by 30 leading economists calling for an increase of 25-30% in the value of the yen to the dollar. The council has published the study on its new website.