The U.S. Treasury will remain "intensely focused" on correcting China's substantially undervalued yuan despite a decision not to name Beijing a currency manipulator, a senior Treasury official said on Thursday.
"We've made progress on the currency issue but that does not mean we are satisfied," Lael Brainard, the Treasury's Undersecretary for International Affairs, said in prepared remarks to the U.S.-China Business Council.
The Treasury last week in a long-delayed report declined to say that China manipulates its currency for trade advantage, citing a 3.7 percent rise in the yuan against the dollar since June and an even bigger change in the "real bilateral exchange rate", which is adjusted for higher inflation in China.
Brainard said that based on these adjustments and Chinese President Hu Jintao's commitments on intellectual property, government procurement and boosting domestic demand, the Treasury concluded that China did not meet the legal standard for currency manipulation.
"We will remain intensely focused on this issue to ensure accelerated progress to address the remaining substantial undervaluation of the RMB," Brainard said, referring to the yuan's other name, the renminbi.
She said the United States was also focused on China's priorities, which include access to high-technology U.S. products and greater investment opportunities in the United States and to be accorded the same access that market economies enjoy.
"We are willing to make progress on these issues, but our ability to move on these issues will depend on how much progress we see from China," Brainard said.
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