Washington, D.C. -This morning, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that the U.S. Mint will be moved to the Wujiang Economic Development Zone in Jiangsu Province, China. The move had been expected because of the "exorbitant labor costs associated with its present locations in Denver and Philadelphia," said Geithner. In honor of the move, a commemorative set of coins will be struck bearing the likenesses of Chinese president Hu Jintao on one side and a red panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens), a native of southwest China, on the other.
To further reduce costs, Geithner said that, beginning January 2010, the current mix of metals used for coinage will be restricted to aluminum. "Aluminum will be much easier on the pockets and purses of Americans due to its lighter weight," claims Edmund C. Moy, Director of the Mint. "Plus, we'll be able to tap into the volume of beverage cans now littering the nation's roadways for raw material."
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing will remain in Washington, although several initiatives will reduce the cost of printing paper currency. Larry R. Felix, the bureau's director, will phase out the printing of the "green" side of all bills. "The ink savings incurred will be substantial," said Felix. "In addition, having a blank side will allow consumers to jot down shopping lists and other notes, although, sadly, the term 'greenback' will disappear from the English lexicon."
As of January 2009, China held more than $700 billion in U.S. securities. "Having the U.S. Mint in China will facilitate the purchase of coinage," asserted Geithner. "The People's Bank of China has a branch office in Jiangsu, and we will be meeting with its representatives shortly at The Joy Luck Club in Nanjiing, along with Hong Kong actor Aaron Kwok, famous for his role in 'After This Our Exile' and now PR Director for People's Bank."