Beijing's irony and "chutzpah" regarding currency manipulation is staggering and bizarre that we have to laugh.
Okay, first the story, as reported by the Associated Press:
China's Commerce Minister, Chen Deming, has voiced concern that other countries are engaging in "competitive devaluation" of their currencies in order to boost exports. He believes this could have a "negative effect on global economic growth."
Apparently, Chen's remarks were directed at recent depreciation of the Japanese yen, though he also fretted about declines in other "major currencies," including the EU and U.S.
Whatever. Here's the BIG IRONY.
In the course of human history, there has never been a country that more egregiously, deliberately, and self-servingly devalues its currency for its own benefit. Beijing's currency manipulation in relation to the U.S. dollar, which began in 1994, has continually aroused the ire of the entire industrialized world. No matter, by the way, that Beijing pledged to end its currency peg in 2001 upon joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Currency manipulation works, of course, and Beijing has happily watched the profits roll in from its ever-climbing, record-breaking trade surpluses with the U.S. In fact, in 2012 alone, China racked up a stunning $315 billion trade profit with the U.S.
Beijing's currency manipulation is a prime driver of the bilateral trade deficit between the two countries, helping to eviscerate more than 2.7 million U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2011, including 2.1 million in the manufacturing sector.
So it's a fine and dandy little outburst from Beijing to say "Oh please don't engage in currency manipulation."
Bottom line: The Obama Administration needs to get tough with Beijing and hold China accountable for its illegal currency peg. Doing so could help to create much-needed jobs in America's industrial sector.
Read the Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) "Blueprint for the Future," which contains specific recommendations regarding trade enforcement with China.
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