Obama says China has not moved quickly enough on yuan

President Obama says China should move to a market based system for its currency

US President Barack Obama has said that China is not doing enough to allow its currency to rise in value.

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Hawaii, President Obama said China needed to follow the same rules as other nations.

The value of the yuan has been a key point of conflict between the US and China over recent years.

Earlier on Sunday, the 21 Apec member nations agreed to increase trade to bolster global growth.

However, Mr Obama warned that China's currency policy distorted global trade.

The US President said most economists agreed that China's currency is undervalued by between 20 and 25%.

He added that this makes US goods much more expensive in China, and Chinese good that much cheaper in the US - giving China an unfair trade advantage.

"There has been slight improvement over the last year but it hasn't been enough," President Obama told a press conference at the end of the two-day talks in Honolulu.

Trade liberalisation

The leaders said in a statement earlier on Sunday that Europe's fiscal crisis and natural disasters such as Japan's earthquake had strengthened the resolve to work more closely together.

John Quelch of the China-Europe International Business School says China, a dominant economy in the region, is not likely to join trade talks till later

"We recognise that further trade liberalisation is essential to achieving a sustainable global recovery in the aftermath of the global recession of 2008-2009."

However analysts said whether those promises were turned into action when the leaders returned home remained to be seen.

Increasing trade also means opening up markets to foreign competition, something some Asia Pacific countries have been reluctant to do in the past.

For his part, President Obama has been pushing the region to open up its borders, calling US engagement in the Asia Pacific region "absolutely critical" to America's prosperity.

And he was able to garner more support at the summit for a US-led regional free trade agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Regional pact

On Sunday, Canada and Mexico said they would join talks to remove trade barriers.

"We looked at the outline of the criteria set by the partnership and they are all criteria that Canada can easily meet. So it is something we're interested in moving forward on," said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

It comes after Japan, the third largest economy in the world, agreed to participate in talks on the agreement as well, giving legitimacy to the pact which notably does not include China.

Before the summit the TPP agreement included only smaller economies such as Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.

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