[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
China warns against US currency bill
Foreign ministry says it "firmly opposes" US Senate bill which can be used to adopt protectionist trade measures.
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2011 02:16
Senate has pushed a bill that will allow the US to impose duties on countries that undervalue their currencies [EPA]

China's foreign ministry has said it "firmly opposes" a bill pushed by the US Senate that will allow the country to impose duties on countries that undervalue their currencies.

In a statement posted on China's official government website on Tuesday, the ministry said the US was "using the excuse of 'currency imbalances'" to adopt protectionist trade measures that violated World Trade Organisation rules.

"The Chinese side appeals to the US side to abandon protectionism and not to politicise trade and economic issues, so as to create a favourable environment for the development of China-US economic and trade ties,'' Ma Zhaoxu, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said.

The Senate voted on Monday to advance legislation designed to press China to let its currency, yuan, rise in value.

The move has set up a debate between lawmakers who say the bill will create jobs and critics who warn it could spark a trade war.

More than 60 senators voted to allow debate on the bipartisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011.

The bill has bipartisan backing, but still the legislation faces considerable hurdles before it becomes law.

The Obama White House, while agreeing that China's yuan is undervalued, has been wary of unilateral sanctions against the Beijing government.

Major US business groups share those misgivings and House Republican leaders have shown no interest in bringing it to a vote.

The Senate bill, which does not specifically mention China, sets in motion a process for imposing punitive tariffs against a country with misaligned currencies.

The bill also makes it easier for specific industries to seek higher tariffs on foreign competitors when undervalued currencies become a means to subsidise exports.

Supporters of the bill say that, despite some incremental adjustments by Beijing over the past year, the value of the yuan is still as much as 40 per cent below what it should be. They say that is a major factor in a trade deficit with China that hit $273bn last year.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.