The United States reached minor economic agreements with Beijing during talks in Washington this week, yet failed to secure a deal (AP) for significant Chinese currency reform. Delegates from the two countries met for the biannual Strategic Economic Dialogue, which serves as chance for discussion between two of the world’s largest economies. Although envoys reached pacts on energy, the environment, and opening Chinese markets to U.S. financial institutions, the currency issue could trouble U.S.-China economic relations. In advance of the talks, a bipartisan group of forty-two lawmakers urged the Bush administration to investigate whether Beijing manipulates the value of the yuan, keeping it priced low against the dollar to boost Chinese exports. They charge this practice exacerbates (Reuters) the U.S. trade deficit, which hit a record high of roughly $233 billion last year.