Extensive outsourcing by U.S. industry means that a revaluation of the Chinese yuan sought by many U.S. politicians would destroy U.S. jobs, a study by independent economists and other experts said Thursday.
The study, published by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), was published on the day that the U.S. Treasury had been due to issue a report widely expected to brand China a as a currency manipulator.
But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided on April 3 to delay the report, defusing rising tension over China's currency between Beijing and Washington.
The CEPR study, comprising 28 analyses of the issue, concludes that a yuan revaluation of only 5 percent would eliminate China's trade surplus with the world.
But it would only cut the U.S. trade deficit with China by $61 billion, according to the study, edited by trade economist Simon Evenett.
A 10 percent revaluation of the yuan would improve the U.S. deficit by $111.5 billion — not enough to eliminate the U.S. shortfall with China.
Because so many U.S. exporters buy parts and components from China, the revaluation would raise their costs, resulting in a hit to U.S. exports that would cost 424,000 U.S. jobs, it said.
If the U.S. imposed a 10 percent tariff across the board on Chinese imports and China responded in kind with a similar 10 percent duty on U.S. exports, 947,000 U.S. jobs would be lost.
"Recent U.S. proposals remind me of the adage: 'Be careful what you wish for,'" Evenett said.
The study, published on the economic policy website vox.eu, found that the yuan was undervalued by between 2.5 percent and 27.5 percent.
But economists, including some from China, found that China would benefit from a revaluation, and that appreciation could stimulate Chinese exports and push China into higher-value manufacturing.
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