Bloomberg News

Lew Says He Would Push China on ‘Market-Determined’ Currency

February 20, 2013

U.S. Treasury Secretary Nominee Jack Lew

Jacob "Jack" Lew, U.S. treasury secretary nominee and former White House chief of staff. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Jack Lew, President Barack Obama’s nominee for U.S. Treasury secretary, 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 today by Bloomberg News, said if he’s confirmed, “addressing China’s exchange rate would be a top priority.”

He also said, in response to questions from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, 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 gross domestic product 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 former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner if confirmed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net; Phil Mattingly in Washington at pmattingly@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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