When Secretary Geithner travels to Beijing next week, will he discuss CURRENCY?

Posted by scapozzola on 01/05/2012

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that Secretary Tim Geithner will travel to Beijing and Tokyo on January 10-12 for "meetings with senior government officials in both countries to discuss the state of the global economy, policies to strengthen global growth and other economic issues of mutual importance."

Is there any chance that Secretary Geithner will also confer about China's deliberately undervalued currency, which is a key driver of the massive U.S.-China trade deficit?

Sadly, the Treasury Department's recent Semi-Annual Report on Currency did NOT cite Beijing for its currency manipulation. 

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul was disappointed by this failure, saying, "President Obama has now formally refused to cite China six times for its currency manipulation, a practice which has contributed to the loss of hundreds of thousands of American manufacturing jobs."

According to a November 2011 study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Yuan remains undervalued by roughly 24% against the dollar.

This week, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul sent a letter to Secretary Geithner, urging that he raise the currency issue with his counterparts in both China and Japan:

It would be difficult to overstate the disappointment shared by U.S. manufacturers and their workers with your most recent Treasury report on the currency exchange rate policies of our major trading partners. For the sixth time since President Obama took office, you have issued a report that does not label China as a currency manipulator, despite unmistakable evidence to the contrary. This report was due to Congress on October 15, 2011, but was delayed to give the department a chance to assess progress made at several international conferences. Mr. Secretary, where is the progress?

Paul has urged Secretary Geithner to "we urge you to employ objective, measurable criteria and to outline clear consequences of inaction" regarding their continued currency undervaluation:

American manufacturing companies and their workers will be watching closely as you visit with Chinese and Japanese officials. Again, we urge you to press for a level playing field, free of market distortions like currency manipulation that stand in the way of job creation.

Without real action, the status quo will continue-- anemic U.S. job growth and a struggling industrial sector.

Click here to read Paul's full letter to Secretary Geithner.

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