I love realpolitik (US-China relations)
From the New York Times, “U.S. to Delay Chinese Currency Report”
The Obama administration said Saturday that it would continue to press China on the politically charged issue of its currency during a series of meetings between now and June, but it confirmed that it would defer the delivery of a report to Congress that could find China to be a currency manipulator.
Everybody knows that China manipulates the renminbi. A report stating the obvious has some statutory effects, like allowing tariffs to be placed on Chinese goods.
But recently, China also announced it was exploring the possibility of sanctions on Iran for Iran’s nuclear program. (Also, check out the Guardian’s picture of Obama and Sarkozy. They’re ready to take on something, it seems.)
So I bet the delay is a reward for Chinese movement on Iranian sanctions.
I love the cold calculus of realpolitik at play here. Bravo Obama administration and Clinton over at State.
EDIT (2010/04/12 23:12): As often occurs when one steps outside the bounds of his knowledge and propounds upon something he knows nothing about, I was wrong regarding the reason for the delay. According to Foreign Policy, it was a “more complex and nuanced set of reasons.” Nevertheless, this is still positive movement on US-China relations, and I still congratulate the Obama administration for its success.