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from Tales from the Trail:

One Washington day is not like another for Mr. Hu

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USA-CHINA/China's President Hu Jintao was feted with full fanfare at the White House on Wednesday, with a 21-gun salute, honor guards and a state dinner. Things might not be quite so fancy on Thursday when he goes to Capitol Hill.

There he will see Republican Speaker John Boehner in the House of Representatives, then cross the Capitol to meet Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Neither bothered to attend Wednesday's state dinner.

Also attending the House and Senate meetings will be several other lawmakers who want a word with Hu about human rights in China, as well as China's dealings with Iran and Chinese trade practices.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen plans to hand Hu an entire list of complaints in the form of a letter she sent to Obama ahead of the Chinese leader's visit.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Ducking the issue

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on The Treasury Department's Report on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies on Capitol Hill in Washington September 16, 2010.

We were all primed for the release of the Treasury’s global currency report this afternoon, which would have included a ruling on whether China was a currency manipulator. But a decision was taken to delay the report until after the Group of 20 summit in Seoul in mid-November.

Pressure from lawmakers and business had been mounting on President Barack Obama to act, but the delay shouldn’t come as a big surprise. After all, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Congress last month he wanted to rally the G20 around the issue and take a multilateral approach. Perhaps more importantly, the administration is conveniently ducking the issue until after the Nov. 2 congressional elections.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Goldilocks Geithner

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Not too hot, not too cold, just right.geithner18

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner performed a delicate balancing act on the Hill today. On the one hand, Geithner had to tell an increasingly angry Congress that he was serious about trying to persuade China to revalue its currency, the yuan. On the other, he wanted to head off the kind of unilateral action from Congress that could provoke a trade war, and endanger the administration’s efforts to engage Beijing on a whole slew of issues.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer raged that “China’s currency manipulation is like a boot to the throat of our recovery,” and accused Geithner of being the only person in the room who did not believe China was manipulating its currency.

from Tales from the Trail:

Geithner tells Congress: calling China names doesn’t get you anywhere

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U.S. lawmakers are mad and want Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to step in and call China a name -- "currency manipulator" -- which may not sound like much on city streets but can be quite an insult in world financial circles.

"At a time when the U.S. economy is trying to pick itself up off the ground, China's currency manipulation is like a boot to the throat of our recovery. This administration refuses to try and take that boot off our neck." That's not a Republican raging against President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary, it's Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York (where Wall Street happens to be located). USA/

from Breakingviews:

China’s yuan rebuttal puts U.S. in a bind

Name-calling doesn't hurt -- unless the tag happens to be "currency manipulator". U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has a month to decide whether to lay that epithet on China in his half-yearly report. Premier Wen Jiabao's muscular denial this weekend that the yuan is undervalued makes that more likely. But retaliation would be costly for the United States.

Americans worry that a cheap yuan helps China's exports and undermines U.S. manufacturers. President Barack Obama called on China to take a more "market-oriented" approach to its currency on March 11. The 46 percent increase in Chinese exports in February, even as new data showed U.S. wages on a declining trend, raises the stakes.

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