White House presses China on yuan

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 7, 2010 at 1:50 p.m.

China needs to take steps on foreign exchange reform and the Obama administration is monitoring Beijing’s progress on this issue, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday.

“You have heard the secretary of treasury and the president and others in the administration discuss the need for China to take steps as it relates to its currency,” he told reporters.

“We are watching and evaluating the measures and the steps that they take,” he said. “We continue to believe that China must take steps.”

The U.S. believes China is keeping the value of its yuan currency artificially low against the dollar, giving Chinese exports an unfair advantage that costs U.S. jobs.

The House has voted to authorize the Commerce Department to treat currency undervaluation as a subsidy and to apply duties to offset the price advantage.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has vowed to push the issue within the Group of 20 industrialized and emerging economic powers, and it will be a topic of debate as finance officials gather in Washington for International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings that begin Friday.

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