U.S. Lawmakers: China Undervalues Currency To Boost Exports

By Agence France-Presse The U.S. Treasury Department should investigate whether China has deliberately undervalued its currency to drive down the price of its exports, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said July 17. The legislators said China's export gains have come at the expense of U.S. manufacturers, whose goods are not able to compete on the world or domestic markets. "Anyone who's read the newspaper lately knows that the manufacturing industry's been getting killed," Charles E. Schumer said. "Our manufacturing losses have been staggering." The New York Democrat has joined with Sens. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., in sending a letter to Treasury Secretary John W. Snow urging action. "The Chinese yuan has been tightly pegged to the U.S. dollar in a range of 8.276 to 8.280 per dollar since 1994," the senators wrote in a letter dated Thursday. "However, given China's enormous growth since 1994, this fixed level most likely does not reflect its true value." The senators note in their letter that World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund rules prohibit currency manipulation as a method of gaining an edge in the export market. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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