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US Treasury Secretary Calls for Further Revaluation of Chinese Currency

On the eve of another round of bi-lateral economic talks with China, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson praised Beijing for acting responsibly in dealing with the global financial crisis. But VOA's Barry Wood reports that Paulson also urged continuing action to revalue China's currency.

Paulson addressed a Washington audience as he prepared to leave for China and his last round of talks in the bi-lateral economic dialogue. The former U.S. investment banker said China should rely more on domestic demand and allow further rises in the value of the renminbi.

"Continuing reform of China's exchange rate policy is an integral part of this broader reform process," said Henry Paulson. "China has appreciated the renminbi over 20 percent against the dollar since 2005. This is important and significant. But it is important that the reform process continue."

U.S. automakers Tuesday submitted detailed plans to Congress on how they would use $25 billion of loans they say are urgently need. The companies also reported sharply reduced sales in November as the effects of the credit squeeze and worsening consumer sentiment weighed on their business.

Chrysler sales were down 47 percent from a year ago, General Motors sold 41 percent fewer vehicles and Ford car sales were down more than 30 percent. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the revitalization plans have been received and that bankruptcy for any of the Detroit Big Three is not an option. Congress will hear from U.S. auto industry leaders on Thursday and Friday, with votes in both chambers likely before year's end.

Meanwhile, stock prices on Wall Street rebounded from Monday's steep sell off. The Dow Jones Industrials were up some 271 points or 3.7 percent. The S&P 500 index was up four percent to close at 849.

Oil prices continued to fall with the price of West Texas Intermediate down more $2 to less than $48 a barrel. Gold prices rose more than $13 to trade at nearly $782 an ounce. The U.S. dollar was weaker against the euro, but higher against the yen.