China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy [Updated June 6, 2007]   [open pdf - 295KB]

"The continued rise in China's trade surplus with the United States and the world, and complaints from U.S. manufacturing firms and workers over the competitive challenges posed by Chinese imports have led several Members to call for a more aggressive U.S. stance against certain Chinese trade policies they deem to be unfair. Among these is the value of the Chinese yuan relative to the dollar. From 1994 to July 2005, China pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar at about 8.28 yuan to the dollar. On July 21, 2005, China announced it would let its currency immediately appreciate by 2.1% (to 8.11 yuan per dollar) and link its currency to a basket of currencies (rather than just to the dollar). Many Members complain that the yuan has only appreciated only modestly (less than 6%) since these reforms were implemented and that China continues to 'manipulate' its currency in order to give its exporters an unfair trade advantage, and that this policy has led to U.S. job losses. Numerous bills were introduced in the 109th Congress to address China's currency policy, and these efforts have continued in the 110th session. If the yuan is undervalued against the dollar (as many analysts believe), there are likely to be both benefits and costs to the U.S. economy. It would mean that imported Chinese goods are cheaper than they would be if the yuan were market determined."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32165
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