Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United States is “going to continue to insist that on this issue and all trade issues with China, it’s a two-way street,” US President Barack Obama said as he answered questions concerning the revaluation of China’s currency, the yuan, during a live town hall-styled meeting on CNBC. For the Americans, the exchange rate is a major issue. Whilst the Chinese “have said 'yes' in theory,” in reality “they have not done everything that needs to be done," Obama noted.
The president’s remarks are a sign that Sino-American economic ties are still tense, this despite intense diplomatic efforts to warm relations after two months in deep freeze.
In two days time, the US leader is expected to meet Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao behind closed doors. Chinese President Hu Jintao confirmed he would visit Washington in November.
However, the yuan continues to divide the two giants. China’s leaders have not done “everything they said would be done” to allow appreciation. Indeed, the yuan is “valued lower than market conditions say it should be” and that gives China “an advantage in trade. [. . .] What we've said to them is you need to let your currency rise,” Obama said.
Whilst recognising the positive impact of a growing Chinese economy, the Us president noted that the United States would insist on discussing all bilateral trade issues in order to guarantee a level playing field for US companies and that it would take more actions against China before the WTO as well as “enforce our trade laws much more effectively than we have in the past”.
Obama’s swipe at Beijing pushed the yuan to its strongest position against the US dollar since 1993, and follows continued US pressures on the issue.
The yuan gained 0.1 per cent to 6.7082 in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.