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Kit Bond on China currency war, jobs, midterm elections

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – Retiring US Senator Kit Bond said that he's worried that Congressional action to force China to revalue its currency could jeopardize efforts to make St. Louis a hub for Chinese cargo.

The US House last week approved a measure that would place tariffs on Chinese goods if the country does not allow for greater changes in the value of its currency, the Yuan.

Bond, a Republican, said that the US needs to focus on its own trade policies first.

"We've got trade issues with everybody, we've got some intellectual property and trade barrier problems," Bond said, "We should not be messing with international currency or the value of the Yuan."

Bond also said that recent gains on Wall Street won't be enough to change people's minds in the upcoming midterm elections.

"Ten points up or down in the Dow and the S&P, that's not going to affect the average voter, " Bond said, "They want jobs. They don't see the jobs."

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, James Bullard, said that even though private sector job creation is slow, unemployment in the US likely won't hit 10 percent.

Even though figures released today show the unemployment rate remaining at 9.6 percent, the country lost 96,000 jobs last month.

Despite that, Bullard says economic history points against the rate going much higher.

"It's been very unusual for the unemployment rate to go back up toward its peak or past its [previous] peak once the economy starts to recover," Bullard said, " so I think unless you have a double-dip scenario in mind I don't think that's going to happen."

Bullard and Bond were guests on CNBC's "Squawk Box"in a live broadcast from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Friday.

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