Chinese President Hu Jintao and top Obama administration officials are in Beijing talking about ways for China to strengthen its yuan, which could help lower the U.S. trade deficit. In a speech, Jintao addressed the two countries’ continued push to see eye-to-eye on currency issues and work on exchange rate reform.
Earlier in Beijing, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner pushed China to be more open to U.S. companies. “Our common interests lay in supporting a more open global trading system, with a fair balance of benefits and responsibilities in which companies are able to compete on a level playing field. Our two countries have benefited greatly from open trade and investment, and we welcome a more open China today.”
Arthur Kroeber of Chinese economic research firm Dragonomics doubted China’s mobility on the issue due to concern over the downward movement of the euro. “As long as China sees that kind of instability going on, they’re not going to do anything on their currency.”
Kroeber noted the importance of keeping tabs on the global perspective. “We’re losing sight of the bigger-picture story of broader global economic governance issue that both China and the United States both have a big stake in,” he said. “I think this is a way for the top leaders to keep the channels of communication open on issues that cannot be addressed or solved in a short period of time, but just need slow, persistent effort over months and sometimes years.”
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