Lew willing to push China on yuan exchange rate


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 15

Jack Lew, US President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of the Treasury, said he would press China to adopt a “market-determined” exchange rate.

Lew, in written answers to questions from members of the Senate Finance Committee obtained yesterday by Bloomberg News, said if he is confirmed, “addressing China’s exchange rate would be a top priority.”

He also said, in response to questions from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, that he would push China to “level the playing field for our workers and firms, and support a sustained shift to domestic consumption-led growth in China.”

Lew cited “progress” in China, including a 15 percent gain in the yuan against the dollar in real terms since June 2010 and a decline in the current-account surplus from a peak of more than 10 percent of GDP to less than 3 percent.

Still, he said, “more progress is needed.”

Lew, Obama’s former chief of staff and former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was questioned by the committee at a confirmation hearing on Feb. 13. He will replace Timothy Geithner if confirmed.