Administration Dodges China Currency Dispute

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The Administration–the Treasury Department in particular–has decided to delay its twice-annual International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies report to Congress. The reason is certainly the dispute about whether China will be named a “currency manipulator”  The Senate has already agreed to legislation that would take the decision out of the hands of Treasury

Obama and Geithner need to buy time to see if diplomacy can work while the manipulation bill stalls in the House.

The announcement about the delay was meant to obscure the China issue:

Treasury today announced that it will delay publication of the semi-annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies of our major trading partners until later this year to give us a chance to assess progress following several international meetings: the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting October 14-15, 2011; the G-20 Leaders Summit November 3-4, 2011; and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers Meeting November 10, 2011 and APEC Leaders Meeting November 12-13, 2011.

The 2012 elections are near enough that Congressmen and Senators do not want to be taken to task over the belief that China’s currency policy has cost America million of jobs. That gives China little room to dodge a trade war which could be disastrous for all, and the Administration nearly no time to push the matter in private

Douglas A. McIntrye