Obama feeling heat on China currency issue due to tough Romney stance
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Obama for being a "near supplicant to Beijing." Romney said the president is "moving in precisely the wrong direction," and promised to take immediate action on China's deliberate currency undervaluation if elected president.
Romney's strong words prompted a grilling of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney regarding China's currency manipulation:
Q Jay, do you have any response to Mitt Romney in a Wall Street Journal op/ed promising to designate China as a currency manipulator? He's accusing the administration of rewarding China and penalizing American workers because they haven't designated China as a currency manipulator.
MR. CARNEY: Well, Kate, as you know, this administration has worked very constructively with both China and others around the globe on issues that are of a concern to us, including the valuation of the Chinese currency. We always raise this issue in our conversations with the Chinese leadership. We continue to press Beijing on the need to appreciate the currency as part of an overall emphasis that we have on ensuring that there's a level playing field in trade.
As you know from the recent visit by Vice President Xi to the United States -- I guess the visit is continuing today -- we were very candid in our discussions with the Chinese about areas not only where we seek to cooperate in regional and global affairs, but also where we have disagreements and concerns, and this is one of them.
Q Why not designate them, though, as a currency manipulator? Because Romney says it's one of the first things he's going to do when he -- if he's elected.
MR. CARNEY: Well, I know you know this issue pretty well, Kate, and you know that this administration has been very focused on pressing the Chinese to take the necessary steps to appreciate its currency.
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