Treasury Elects Special Envoy to China

    May 19, 2005
    Chris Crum

Olin Wethington has been elected special envoy to China by the U.S. Treasury Department as part of its efforts to get China to become more flexible with its currency.

Wethington, who will also continue his role as a counselor to Treasury Secretary John Snow, will be taking over the position of Paul Speltz, the U.S. executive director at the Asian Development Bank, but will have a bigger role than Speltz.

The Treasury said that it would give China six months to make its currency more flexible, or it would name the country a “manipulative trading partner” in its report to congress.

China rejected this demand saying that U.S. and European curbs on its textile imports are not fair. China basically told the U.S. to worry about itself before sticking its nose in China’s business.

Congress is becoming impatient with the way China is handling its currency, and with the U.S. Treasury for the way it has been handling the situation with China.

“It is now widely accepted that China is now ready and should move without delay in a manner and magnitude that is sufficiently reflective of underlying market conditions,” said the Treasury.

The Treasury will be keeping a close watch on China’s currency practices until the six-month deadline comes, but Chinese leaders who say the country is working toward a more flexible currency say that a deadline cannot be placed on it.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.