Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday that he will urge the Chinese to move more quickly to adopt economic reforms, including a more flexible currency.
But in his first speech on the international economy since joining the Bush Cabinet in July, Paulson stressed that the administration will oppose efforts in Congress to punish China for a soaring trade gap with the United States.
“Protectionist policies do not work and the collateral damage from these policies is high,” he said. “We will not heed the siren songs of protectionism and isolationism.”
Paulson sought to lower expectations that he will achieve any major breakthroughs when he visits Beijing for two days of talks with Chinese officials next week. He stressed, instead, that he would discuss economic reforms that the Chinese need to pursue that would benefit the Chinese economy.