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Pros, cons of protecting against Yuan

Jill Barshay Aug 2, 2007


Doug Krizner: Treasury Secretary Hanky Paulson was in Beijing this week trying to persuade the China to stop undervaluing its currency. But as Jill Barshay reports, Congress is already taking China’s currency into its own hands.

Jill Barshay: A House subcommittee is holding a hearing today on anti-China currency legislation floating around congress.

Some want a law that would make it easier to punish China with trade sanctions. Senate committees have already passed two bills.

Lewis Leibowitz will be testifying for a coalition of U.S. importers like retail stores. He says he’ll tell lawmakers the proposals will harm the U.S. economy by making Chinese goods more expensive.

Lewis Leibowitz: Altering exchange rates suddenly, you make deals that looked good yesterday, look bad today. You create winners and losers that you never even heard about before. Congress has not yet adequately considered what the consequences of these changes would be.

The Bush Administration agrees and is warning lawmakers they could trigger a global cycle of protectionism.

Lawmakers will also be hearing from manufacturers who are withering under Chinese competition and would like some help from Uncle Sam.

I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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