May 25, 2010
New York, NY

The value of China’s currency has jumped to the top of the U.S.–China agenda. Although the U.S. Treasury has deferred its April 15, 2010 report on whether China is a “currency manipulator,” legislation has been proposed that would impose tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States if the currency is not sufficiently revalued. The issue has garnered front page headlines and triggered heated exchanges between those on both sides of the debate. Experts disagree about the effect of a revaluation on Sino-American trade, the creation of jobs and inflation in the United States, the global economic recovery, and worldwide imbalances.

The National Committee's 2010 Members' program featured two leading experts who helped shed light on this debate, placing the issue in the global context. Their topic: Would a large renminbi revaluation make the world economy healthier? Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, has urged caution in dealing with China on its currency, publicly sparring with economists and lawmakers who advocate a speedy and steep revaluation and doubting that “a revaluation will cure global imbalances.” Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator for the Financial Times, has written that China is a currency manipulator, that undervaluation creates imbalances and that imbalances hinder global recovery.

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