NAM President John Engler visited the Shanghai studios of CNBC yesterday for an update on his Asia trip. The video is here. CNBC’s Amanda Drury, referring to U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s speech Thursday to the 2007 China Institute Executive Summit, asked Gov. Engler about protectionist sentiment in the United States and currency issues. Engler’s comments:
On the currency, it was very clear from officials in Beijing that the 11 percent appreciation that’s taken place since the peg was broken with the dollar is the direction they want to head, that they want to continue that path. It is a debate about rate of progress. There are certainly many in the U.S. who would like to see that move much faster. And there’s a recognition that at the same time that it can’t be done overnight, that there can’t be a “big bang” – that would be disruptive.
I think what Secretary Paulson has very wisely argued is, look, you need to make steady progress. If you put it off, it becomes too big to happen all at once, and too disruptive. We see that as a factor.
Although I would say that to the extent that China is able to make solid gains protecting intellectual property and there’s a continued effort to unwind some of the subsidies and level out the tax levies, those are in more ways more substantive, and will encourage more investment.
For more on the NAM-led Asia trip, please go to www.nam.org/asiatrip .
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