WASHINGTON High-tech groups reacted positively to China's decision to end its policy of linking its currency, the yuan, to the value of the U.S. dollar.
U.S. manufacturers have long complained that the policy gives Chinese companies and unfair advantage by making their exports cheaper around the world. For example, Chinese appliance maker Haier is selling air conditions in some U.S. grocery stores for as little as $89.
"This is unalloyed good news, and I think it will help ratchet down the growing anti-China sentiment in Congress," Rhett Dawson, president of the Washington-based Information Technology Industry Council, said in a statement.
The Bush administration and Congress have been pressuring Beijing to end its decade-old policy of pegging the value of the yuan to the dollar. On Thursday (July 21), Beijing said it was revaluing the yuan to 8.11 to the dollar. The yuan had been valued at 8.27 for every dollar since 1998.
Beijing said it will use a "basket of currencies" to determine the value of the yuan.
However, the revaluation fell far short of the 10 percent to 15 percent change sought by U.S. officials who have been calling for a higher yuan as a way to reduce a record U.S. trade deficit with China. Some U.S. manufacturers said the revaluation would do little to make their products more attractive overseas compared to Chinese goods.