(Cleveland) - Leading manufacturing association presidents participated in a press conference at the City Club of Cleveland.

They called for U.S. government representatives to strongly address unfair currency policies in ongoing international trade talks with Asian nations.

Former Missouri governor Matt Blunt is president of the American Automotive Policy Council and is among those calling for congressional action to help level the playing field and create jobs here at home.

Blunt told Newsradio WTAM 1100 that many Asian nations like Japan are manipulating their currencies to make their products cheaper in U.S. markets, while making American-made goods more expensive in their markets.

Blunt maintained, Asian nations are artificially devaluing their currencies instead of allowing free markets to set rates.

He claimed the practice has eliminated about 5 million U.S. jobs nationwide, and nearly 250,000 positions here in Ohio.

Blunt said Ohio U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman are both supporting the call for tough negotiations with Asian nations.

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(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)