September 26, 2012 / 3:33 PM / 6 years ago

U.S. Treasury official to visit China in September for economic talks

Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on financial regulatory reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top Obama administration official will travel to Beijing at the end of September to discuss ways to improve opportunities for U.S. businesses in China, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

Treasury undersecretary Lael Brainard’s meetings with Chinese economic officials September 26 and 27 come in the middle of the U.S. presidential campaign in which President Barack Obama’s economic policies have dominated the debate.

Obama’s Republican challenger Mitt Romney has accused the administration of being soft on China and has vowed to declare Beijing a currency manipulator should he win the presidency in November.

Brainard is visiting China before the Treasury Department is due to release a semi-annual currency report that examines the foreign exchange practices of major U.S. trading partners.

The report, which by law is required to be released October 15 and April 15, is often delayed. The last time China was labeled a currency manipulator was in 1994.

Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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