Pelosi backs China currency bill

Sept. 22, 2010 at 6:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday it is time to pass a bill naming China a currency manipulator, which would appease exporters.

She said the legislature would create "a more level playing field in world trade."

"For years, the Bush administration, the Obama administration and members of Congress have tried to persuade the Chinese government to allow its currency to respond to market forces. No significant progress has been made," the powerful California Democrat said in a statement posted on her Web site.

"The legislation must and will be consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations."

The House Ways and Means Committee is to work on a Chinese currency bill Friday in a mark-up session, The Hill newspaper reported.

The Obama administration has said it prefers a diplomatic approach to the Chinese currency issue. Some economists peg the renminbi as 20 percent to 40 percent undervalued, which makes Chinese exports cheaper and undercuts U.S. competitors.

Before the Senate banking committee last week, however, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the renminbi must be allowed a "significant, sustained appreciation," and that China's policy would be considered "as we prepare the next Foreign Exchange Report," which is due in mid-October.

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