What can we expect from the upcoming Treasury report on exchange rates?

Posted by mmcmullan on 04/08/2014

Coming up soon, the Department of the Treasury will release the Semiannual Report on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, its official look at the exchange rate policies of its trading partners -- and its twice-a-year opportunity to call out currency manipulators.

Then-candidate Barack Obama’s tough campaign rhetoric suggested he would hold the Chinese government accountable for hoarding American dollars and keeping its yuan artificially cheap:

But, despite having ten opportunities to do so, his Treasury department hasn’t. Not even once.

Still, hope springs eternal. The president promised, after all, to make 2014 a year of action on job creation. “Where I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so,” he’s said. And in that vein he’s pushing hard to get more funding for a string of much-needed manufacturing R&D institutes, and the federal government is working to improve workforce training programs. Today, he even took executive action to strengthen equal pay laws.

All are good ideas, and we’re glad he’s picked them up. But the president is leaving a giant issue on the table.

Yes: Recent research suggests ending currency manipulation could potentially create 5.8 million jobs. Will next week’s Treasury report get the ball rolling toward long-overdue action on exchange rates? You can be sure that we’ll be watching.

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