Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. is in a stronger position to weather Europe’s debt crisis and its economic relationship with China has improved.
“We are in a much better position to withstand any pressures from Europe,” Geithner said in an interview with Marketplace, according to a transcript published today. “But again it’s important to acknowledge that Europe is a big part of the global economy so if they were to mismanage their crisis it would have a material impact on growth.”
Geithner said European authorities have made progress in recent months in bringing calm to financial markets. The European Central Bank has flooded the banking system with funds, while Group of 20 governments committed more than $430 billion in fresh capital to the International Monetary Fund on April 20 to help it to protect the world economy against debt turmoil in Europe.
On China, Geithner said the U.S. relationship with the nation has improved. He was speaking ahead of his visit there next week to meet with officials of the world’s second-largest economy. The U.S. will raise longstanding issues from the value of China’s currency to intellectual property protection.
“Their exchange rate has appreciated against the dollar, that’s pretty good for us, that means the competitive playing field is moving in our direction,” Geithner said. “There’s better protection for intellectual property rights in China, less piracy against U.S. firms, and we’ve been very aggressive in using protections in U.S. trade law to challenge unfair trade practices in China.”
-- Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Andrew Atkinson
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