White House Concerned About China Currency Bill

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 6:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House says it is concerned about parts of a proposed law that could bring sanctions against China or any country deliberately manipulating the value of its currency.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday the White House agrees with the goal of the bill the Senate passed Tuesday, making sure U.S. workers and companies have a level playing field on world markets.

But Carney said parts of the bill raise concerns about the United States' international obligations. He said those concerns would have to be addressed if the bill moves forward.

The White House has said it wants to make sure any new law does not violate World Trade Organization rules.

The Senate bill opens 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 would make it easier for U.S. companies to seek tariffs on foreign imports.

Many U.S. lawmakers say when China keeps the value of the yuan artificially low, its goods have an unfair advantage on world markets by making U.S. products too expensive.

Beijing denies deliberately undervaluing the yuan. It calls the bill protectionist, saying it violates world trade rules and will do nothing to help the U.S. economy.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where passage is uncertain. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the bill poses a very severe risk of a trade war with China.