National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President, John Engler, reacting to a Chinese bank official's claim that the value of his nation's currency, the yuan, is set by market forces, said the statement is a "regrettable step backward after some incremental progress on this crucial issue appeared to have been made with China last year."U.S. manufacturers are again urging our own government officials, those from our industrialized trading partners, and both the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund, to step up pressures on China and move its currency toward market valuation. Any first year economics student can clearly see that China's massive, record dollar reserves are working to keep the yuan significantly undervalued," explained Engler.Engler went on to say that it is difficult to understand the Chinese assertion that the yuan's valuation has no bearing on the record U.S. trade deficit and China's record trade surplus. "This bank official's statement implies that U.S. manufacturing workers are overpaid, and that America should simply accept an inevitable global migration of industry to China," Engler remarked."American workers are well-paid because they are the best and most productive in the world," Engler said, "and thanks to that world-leading productivity, U.S. manufacturing's labor costs represent only about 11% of total costs."Engler added that Congress and other policymakers can do much more to help reduce the high cost of doing business in America, allowing American workers to maintain their well-earned high standard of living. To compete successfully in the 21st century Engler says that U.S. industry needs reliable, affordable supplies of energy; increased incentives for innovation; better trained students and workers for high-skill jobs; reduced regulatory burdens; and controls on health care spending."U.S. manufacturing workers can compete and win against any global rival, provided the playing field is level. But the field won't be level as long as China and other trading partners keep their currencies undervalued," Engler said.