Obama Pressures China on Currency

Prez says he'll take action to protect US interests if yuan isn't revalued

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 24, 2010 12:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama has threatened to get tough with China if it doesn't hurry up and revalue its artificially low currency. The president spent most of a 2-hour meeting with Wen Jiabao yesterday pressuring the Chinese premier on the yuan issue, sending the message that "if the Chinese don’t take actions, we have other means of protecting US interests," an aide tells the New York Times.

American exporters complain that the low yuan—which experts believe is 20 to 25% below its true value—gives China an unfair advantage and some lawmakers are pushing for moves to punish China if it doesn't revalue. The Chinese, however, appeared unwilling to budge after yesterday's meeting, with Wen reiterating the country's desire to see the currency rise only gradually. One Chinese official speculated that Obama's push on the issue is election-related and the pressure will ease after November.

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.
President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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