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

(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.

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Sep 26, 2010 1:07 PM CDT
Mr. President, I know you're a lawyer, but at least you should find an honest economist (not necessarily an oxymoron) who will tell you the truth, China has an absolute trade advantage with the US because of their CHEAP LABOR costs. No amount of currency manipulation will do anything but make very small marginal changes. If you continue this stupid trade policy, we will continue to transfer American wealth to China. The only beneficiaries are the Chinese and a very few very rich Americans. Either require BALANCED TRADE with ALL our trading partners (the very minimum thing you can do to stop the hemorrhaging of our wealth to countries around the world), or even better throw out ALL the international trade agreements, and enter into bi-lateral agreements that are to our advantage. We are a country, not a market place for transnational corporations to SUCK OUT OUR NATIONAL WEALTH. You can still be a great President if you use the power of your office to change the most disastrous trade policy in US history, or you can follow President Clinton's example and suck up to transnational corporations and become super rich after leaving office while American citizens suffer one of the most disastrous declines their standard of living. America has been very lucky in that in times of crisis we have had leaders who stood up for interests of American citizens made necessary changes. Today we are in such a crisis, and thus far you have not stood up for the interests of American citizens. Thus far you have been a BIG MISTAKE!
Sep 25, 2010 1:11 AM CDT
It's funny seeing Obama trying to act like a grown-up and threaten to "get tough" with China. I think that means he'll hold his breath and jump up and down until he passes out. He has no power.
Sep 24, 2010 1:15 PM CDT
What makes him think we can push china into doing what we want? The US has to realize the time of 1 lone superpower is over.