Summers can’t get Chinese to budge on currency . . . at least not in public

Chief of the National Economic Council Larry Summers listens in as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media after meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on June 29, 2010.  UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg Photo via Newscom

The United States is losing patience with China as the Chinese move slowly on their currency policy. Many in the US believe correctly that the Chinese are propping up their exports, and hurting US imports, by undervaluing their currency. Larry Summers visited China but no progress has been made . . . at least in public statements.

China rejected pressure over currency Tuesday amid a visit by two high-level U.S. envoys, saying Beijing will set the pace of exchange rate reforms.

Currency has re-emerged as an irritant in U.S.-Chinese relations as American leaders face pressure to create jobs ahead of November elections. Lawmakers who want possible trade sanctions on China set aside complaints as the two governments worked together to end the global crisis but are renewing their demands.

“Exchange rate reform can’t be pressed ahead under external pressure,” said Jiang Yu, a foreign ministry spokesman.

The Chinese don’t want to ;look like they are bowing to pressure, so we all need to go through this diplomatic song and dance. Eventually, a change has to be made.

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