(U.S., China trade war article updated for Geithner comments on currency war, House vote and poll findings)
NEW YORK (
) -- Recent rhetoric in the war of words between the U.S. and China over currency control and China's export advantage has reached a high point.
The United Steelworkers Union filed a petition with the U.S. government alleging that China's support of its green energy industry amounts to a violation of international trade law.
At a recent Senate hearing, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner fended off the rhetorical salves from senators over why the U.S. government hasn't done more to pressure the Chinese on the currency issue.
Geithner followed up the China currency war discussion on Wednesday during a speech at the Brookings Institute, without mentioning China by name. Geithner said, "For too long, many countries oriented their economies toward producing for export rather than consuming at home, counting on the United States to import many more of their goods and services than they bought of ours.... Countries overly reliant on exports to us for their own growth will need to change their policies.... Countries that chronically run large surpluses need to undertake policies that will boost their domestic demand."
Geithner said the issue will be among the most important at the upcoming G20 meeting, though the Treasury Secretary has been making that statement since September.
Finally, the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to give President Obama the authority to slap an import tariff on Chinese products. Of course, the measure is aimed at placing a tariff on products from "countries with undervalued currencies" but everyone knows that there is one country in particular that congress is interested in penalizing.
China's message in response to all the rhetoric has more or less been, "we don't bow to pressure from foreign governments, thank you very much. We've got the currency situation under control."
The message from corporate America to those in Congress pushing the anti-China rhetoric and voting for the tariff measure has been, more or less, "back off or you may screw up trade relationships we've worked hard to get."