The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobbying organization, opposes Mitt Romney’s pledge to designate China as a currency manipulator if he is elected president, the group’s chief operating officer said.
“Without regard to what party you are, picking fights with trading partners probably isn’t the best way to have expansion of the global trading system,” David Chavern, also the Chamber’s executive vice president, said today at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington.
Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has said he would designate a China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. President Barack Obama in May said his administration has lodged trade complaints against China at almost twice the rate of his predecessor. The U.S. Treasury Department in May declined to designate China as a currency manipulator.
“In terms of the China-bashing that everybody seems to love, we think has a long-term negative effect in terms of the debate,” Chavern said.
China has kept the value of its currency against the dollar artificially low and should move to a market-based rate, he said. “We also have to understand that that’s going to take time,” Chavern said.
Many U.S. corporations favor less confrontation as they seek access to the Chinese market. U.S. companies such as Apple and Wynn Resorts make a substantial share of their sales in China. Yum! Brands operates more than 3,900 KFC and 690 Pizza Hut restaurants there. General Motors, including through its joint ventures, sold more cars in China last year than it did in the U.S.
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