French prime minister seeking financial coordination in Washington

As French President Nicholas Sarkozy struggles at home with efforts to reform the French economy, his prime minister, Francois Fillon, is seeking remedies in Washington for global financial instability. Fillon was planning to discuss on Friday how to coordinate policy on exchange rates with U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the U.S. central head. While Sarkozy has seen a sharp downturn in public approval as his promises of reform have faltered, Fillon has remained relatively popular. Fillon said ahead of his trip that he was uneasy about the weakness of the U.S. dollar and China's policy on the yuan. He was expected to ask the United States for help in pressuring China to let the yuan rise against the dollar and euro. "We need a joint approach with the United States on exchange rates," Fillon told The New York Times in an interview Wednesday. "There is political pressure to be put on China, with more chance of success if we're united."