US currency bill expedient & shallow, says Chinese media
BEIJING CHINA’S official news agency derided on Sunday US lawmakers’ efforts to pressure Beijing over its currency policy as “expedient and shallow,” saying they were resorting to an old habit of deflecting blame on China. “This has become a common practice — whenever the (US) economy is slow, whenever an election is nearing, voices in the United States pressing for the rise of the renminbi are all over,” Xinhua said in a commentary, referring to the yuan by its official name. The remarks were published a day before the US Senate decides whether to take up legislation that would allow companies to seek countervailing duties against countries with undervalued currencies, which could be considered unfair subsidies. US lawmakers contend China undervalues its currency by as much as 25 to 40 percent, giving Chinese products an unfair competitive advantage in global markets and resulting in millions of lost jobs. Xinhua said in the commentary the only “innovative” element in the bill was to tie “currency manipulation” directly with “trade subsidies” and thereby make it easy for US companies to wage a trade war against China. Xinhua reiterated China’s long-held stance that the exchange rate was not to blame for the trade imbalance between the two countries or unemployment in the United States. “The race for the US presidential election has heightened, and the yuan exchange rate is now a target again,” the Xinhua commentary asserted, concluding that “the opinions of advocates of the yuan bill are expedient and shallow.” Beijing has repeatedly urged US lawmakers not to “politicise” differences over China’s exchange rate practices by passing the bill. In order to become law, the bill would have to be passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives and then be signed by President Barack Obama.