Geithner "quite confident" China will strengthen currency

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday he is "quite confident" China will strengthen its currency.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Geithner said the administration is encouraging China to revalue its currency and would work through the G20 group of nations to make that happen. President Hu of China is set to visit the United States in mid-April, around when the administration is to report on currency manipulation by foreign countries. The U.S. report is scheduled for April 15, though it could be delayed.

The Obama administration has yet to officially name China a currency manipulator.

"I'm quite confident they will decide it's in their interest to move," Geithner said. "We're going to try to make sure we're going to maximize the chance that they move quickly, and we're going to continue to make sure we're talking about the broad range of economic issues we face with China."

The administration is coming under pressure on the currency issue from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who say China is keeping its currency artificially low in a way that hurts U.S. manufacturing. A weaker currency makes Chinese products appear cheaper to U.S. consumers and U.S. products more expensive.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said recently they are seeking a vote by May on legislation that would name China a currency manipulator.

"The Chinese have promised movement on their currency before and it has always come too slowly and been too little, too late," Schumer said in a statement on Friday. "At a time when so many U.S. jobs are at stake, we remain skeptical about China's willingness to do the right thing on its own."