US lawmakers condemn China on currency drop
U. S. lawmakers have been quick to condemn the sudden drop in the value of mainland Chinese currency as damaging for American businesses and workers, reviving an issue that was once one of the biggest sources of tension between the two world powers.
Yet the initial response from the Obama administration officials has been mild, even positive. They say Beijing has indicated it is taking steps toward a marketdetermined exchange rate - something that even mainland China’s biggest critics in Washington have been demanding for years.
While mainland China’s currency policy has been a perennial sore spot in the relationship, it has dropped in the pecking order of priority concerns during U.S. President Barack Obama’s tenure, as the yuan has appreciated significantly against the U.S. dollar since 2010.
Mainland China’s territorial ambitions in the seas of East Asia and alleged cyber spying on a massive scale against U.S. government and businesses are likely to dominate the agenda when Chinese leader Xi Jinping make his first state visit to the United States in September.
But a continued drop in the value of yuan against the dollar could become an issue of growing contention and give ammunition to critics of mainland China and fuel long-running resentment over the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Asia’s largest economy, which totaled US$343.1 billion last year.