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Snow to check China's currency moves
Updated: 2005-10-08 08:57

** IMF Feeling Heat

Not everyone sees Washington pressure on Beijing as a fair one. It has been reported the U.S. Treasury Department wanted the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to support its claims that China is a currency manipulator.

``We don't see evidence'' that China is violating the IMF rules against maintaining an artificially cheap currency, IMF managing director Rodrigo de Rato told the Washington Post earlier this week.

De Rato's comments were in response to ones made days earlier by Tim Adams, U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. Adams accused the IMF of being ``asleep at the wheel'' on monitoring currencies.

In an effort to show U.S. unhappiness, Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., on Friday introduced a Senate resolution calling on the administration to request that the International Monetary Fund file a formal complaint charging China with manipulating its currency.

"The IMF, by its own rules should be investigating this problem, and my resolution will help make that happen," Bayh said.

** China Likes Gradualism

Chinese central bankers have time and again since the July 21 yuan revaluation said it would be in everyone's interests to adhere to "gradualism" in adopting further currency reform measures, because any more drastic moves would entail grave risks to China's economy. A sudden breakdown of the Asia's fasting growing economy will drag many down, they asserted.

Secretary Snow sidestepped questions on whether Beijing would be branded a currency manipulator in the Treasury's semiannual report due in early November.

Snow spoke during an exchange with Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, who is co-sponsoring a measure to impose tariffs of 27.5 percent on Chinese imports unless Beijing adopts a more flexible currency. Schumer and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, agreed in June to delay their bill after Snow and Greenspan assured them China was about to change its policies.

The yuan traded at 8.09 to the dollar on Friday, as compared with the 8.30 yuan vs a dollar prior to July 21.

``The yuan has appreciated less in 10 weeks than China said it would allow in one day,'' Schumer said. ``To me that's greater evidence of currency manipulation. Clearly they aren't letting market forces take hold, they are afraid to let go.''

Under Secretary of Treasury for international affairs Adams said Friday that the currency issue was one of three areas where the administration wants to see greater efforts by the Chinese to address the huge trade gap with the United States. Adams said the Chinese should do more to stimulate domestic demand and rely less on exports to provide economic growth.

He said that China's financial system should open up more so that foreign banks can operate more freely in the country, a move he said would make the economy more open and allow it to function better.

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