U.S. DOESN’T NAME CHINA A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR
Bloomberg, May 27, 2011
The Obama administration declined to brand China a currency manipulator while saying the world’s fastest-growing economy is making “insufficient” progress on letting the yuan rise.
The U.S. “believes that progress thus far is insufficient and that more rapid progress is needed,” the Treasury Department said yesterday in a report to Congress on foreign- exchange markets. The yuan’s real exchange rate remains “substantially undervalued” and the department “will continue to closely monitor the pace” of appreciation.
The report, originally due in April, follows Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s push for a stronger yuan. Lawmakers including Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, say the exchange rate gives China an unfair advantage in the global marketplace. In talks this month between the world’s two largest economies, China agreed on the upward direction of the currency, while differing with the U.S. on the pace.
“We have differences on the degree of appreciation,” Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said May 10 in Washington. China’s economy will expand 9.6 percent in 2011 and 9.5 percent next year, according to International Monetary Fund projections released last month.
The Treasury Department backed away from the “nuclear option” of calling China a currency manipulator, said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. The Group of 20 nations are “going to have something to say on the global imbalances later this year, so it is better to decide these matters in a world forum rather than for the U.S. to take unilateral action.”
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