Does renminbi undervaluation cost US jobs?

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Check out the clashing views on the renminbi and American jobs at Foreign Policy.

Fred Bergsten wants China to significantly revalue the renminbi (something like a 10% immediate appreciation), saying that “China is exporting large doses of unemployment to the rest of the world.” He thinks a trade correction would create a million US jobs, using a rule of thumb in which “$1 billion of exports supports about 6,000 to 8,000 (mainly high-paying manufacturing) jobs in the United States.”

Phil Levy offers the rebuttal. In normal times, most believe the trade balance doesn’t affect employment. In a recession, could the trade balance affect the unemployment rate? He points to Ray Fair’s econometric model, which suggests that Chinese undervaluation has actually created US jobs. He’s also not a fan of Bergsten’s rule of thumb.

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