(MENAFN - AFP) The US Treasury said Friday it would delay the release of its semi-annual report on the currency policies of major trade partners, amid perennial pressure to brand China a serial currency manipulator.
The Treasury said it would put off publishing the report to Congress so it could "assess progress following the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting next month."
The Treasury regularly reviews the exchange rate policies of nine economies that account for 70 percent of US foreign trade, with most of the focus on China.
Critics in Congress accuse Beijing of keeping the yuan, or renminbi, artificially low to make Chinese exports unfairly cheap. They want the Asian nation officially labelled a manipulator in order to apply sanctions against the country.
The Obama administration has raised trade pressure on China but has refrained from any formal action on the currency front.
In its last report in May, the Treasury concluded that China had not met the standards for manipulation, even if the yuan, or renminbi (RMB), was persistently undervalued.
"The available evidence suggests the RMB remains significantly undervalued, and we believe further appreciation of the RMB against the dollar and other major currencies is warranted," the Treasury said at the time.
Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in next month's election, has vowed to increase the pressure on Beijing if he wins the White House.
In a speech last month, Romney said that China's undervalued currency "drives American manufacturers and American producers out of business and kills jobs."
"I also want to make sure that if a nation cheats like China has cheated, we call them on the carpet and don't let it continue," he said.