Senate Passes China Currency Bill

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The Senate has passed a bill that could bring sanctions against China or any country found to be deliberately manipulating the value of its currency – 63 senators voted yes while 35 said no.

The law would open the door for U.S. sanctions if the Treasury Department finds a country is manipulating its currency and not taking steps to fix it. It also make it easier for U.S. companies to seek tariffs on foreign imports.

Many U.S. lawmakers, especially Democrats from industrial states, say Chinese currency manipulation gives its goods an unfair advantage on world markets by making U.S. products too expensive.

Opponents to the law say they fear it could start a trade war with China.

China has denied deliberately undervaluing the yuan. It says it is taking steps to let its value rise and fall naturally against the dollar.

The law now goes to the House of Representatives, where passage is uncertain. Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is asking the White House to take a formal position on the bill before the House considers it.

President Barack Obama has not officially come out for or against the measure. But the White House says it wants to be cautious and make sure any new law does not violate World Trade Organization rules.