Schumer says Congress must up pressure on China

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) pumps his fist as he addresses the gala banquet of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference in Washington, March 22, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Charles Schumer said on Sunday China’s gradual approach to lifting its currency peg amounted to “backing off” its promises, and urged strong legislation that might force further changes.

A day after announcing changes to its exchange rate regime, China on Sunday explicitly ruled out a one-time revaluation of the yuan, which officials say is artificially -- and unfairly -- low.

“Just a day after there was much hoopla about the Chinese finally changing their policy, they are already backing off. It vindicates our initial skepticism,” said Schumer, a prominent voice on the issue of China’s exchange rate in Washington.

“We intend to move forward as quickly as possible with legislation,” he said. “It is only strong legislation that will get the Chinese to change and will stop jobs and wealth from flowing out of America as a result of unfair trade policies.”