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Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Things that make you go 'Hmm' "

"Things that make you go Hmm" was a song title by early 1990's one-album wonder C&C Music Factory.  But the phrase is often applicable in the news..

Here's today's example: China Currency Manipulation

First...  November 17, 2010...

Panel Urges US to Label China Currency Manipulator (Reuters) --  "China's deliberately undervalued (yuan) has unfairly conferred substantial economic advantages on China to the detriment of major trading partners, principally the United States and Europe," the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in an annual report.  The recommendation follows the U.S. Treasury Department's decision last month to delay a semi-annual report on whether China or any country is manipulating its currency for an unfair trade advantage. The Treasury report originally was due October 15"

Then...  January 17, 2011

US lawmakers want action on China currency manipulation (AP) -- "Chinese President Hu Jintao's high-profile visit to Washington this week comes as newly elected Republican lawmakers are itching to act against what they see as an undervalued Chinese currency that is costing American jobs.

Three Democratic senators plan to introduce legislation this week to address the currency issue... If passed the legislation would impose stiff new penalties on designated countries that misaligned currency in a way that unfairly harmed U.S. trade. Penalties would include tariffs on exports and a ban on any companies from those countries from receiving U.S. government contracts."

Then...  January 19, 2011

US and Chinese leaders to tackle strained relations at White House  (AFP) -- "Obama and Hu will also likely spar over Washington's claims that China maintains its yuan currency at an artificially low level to boost its exports -- a practice American critics see as detrimental to US jobs and growth."

But Then...  On January 20, 2011

China's Hu Jintao and Barack Obama pledge stronger ties (BBC) -- "US officials revealed that a $45billion export deal had been signed with China, including Beijing's $19bn purchase of 200 Boeing aircraft."

And now yesterday...  February 4, 2011

Administration: China not currency manipulator (AP) -- "The Obama administration on Friday declined to cite China for manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages against the United States... 

"It's plain as the nose on your face that China manipulates its currency," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday in criticizing the administration's failure to cite China. "It's just as plain that the only way to address this problem is for Congress to act."

American manufacturers contend that China's currency is undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the dollar. That makes Chinese goods cheaper for U.S. consumers and American products more expensive in China.  Critics blame China's currency policies and other trade practices they see as unfair for the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs."

~Gee, wonder if that Boeing deal had anything to do with Obama's decision?

Things that make you go Hmm...

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