Tuesday, October 18, 2011

View: China’s Currency Distracts From U.S.’s Policy Failings

View: China’s Currency Distracts From U.S.’s Policy Failings

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that on “Day One” in office he would declare China a currency manipulator. So it’s safe to assume that were he president, he would sign the bill that passed the Democratic- controlled Senate last week to impose sanctions on China if it doesn’t free the yuan to appreciate against the dollar.

House Speaker John Boehner has said he will try to prevent a vote on the currency measure. We hope he succeeds. It’s unfortunate that the temptation to blame other countries for America’s self-inflicted woes is gaining bipartisan support.

Let’s be clear: We don’t favor China’s policy of keeping the yuan artificially weak, and thus making its exports cheaper. But blaming the U.S.’s sluggish economy on China’s currency policy is a diversion from more fundamental problems: the inability of political leaders to revive the economy in the short term (by helping homeowners with “underwater” mortgages, by investing in infrastructure and by providing tax incentives for employers to increase hiring), and in the long term with a budget-balancing plan.


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