Geithner to appear before Senate Banking panel on exchange rate

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify next week before the Senate Banking Committee on the nation's exchange rate policies as discussions over China's currency heat up. 

Geithner will appear Thursday before the panel to discuss the Treasury Department’s "International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies" report. 

The House side is also active on the issue, with House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) adding a second hearing about the investigation on China's exchange rate policy and what action should be taken. 

The first hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15 and will feature Geithner — it will be followed by a second hearing on Sept. 16 that will include testimony from the private sector and lawmakers on currency issues. 

China has allowed its currency to appreciate less than one percent since it decided more than a month ago to allow more flexibility in its exchange rate. The rate issue has caused trade imbalances to occur, as Chinese goods remain less expensive.  

"The large and persistent U.S. trade imbalance with China is a major contributor to global imbalances, costing the United States jobs and economic growth," Levin said in prepared remarks. "The issue of China's persistent exchange rate program must be resolved as we seek to address these imbalances."