Bloomberg News

White House Reviewing Bill on China Currency, Carney Says

September 28, 2011

(Updates with yuan valuation, request for review beginning in fourth paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration views China’s currency as “substantially undervalued” and is reviewing legislation that aims to penalize the world’s second- largest economy, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

“We share the goal” of pushing China to let its currency appreciate, Carney said, without saying whether the administration would support the measure, which has bipartisan sponsorship in the Senate. While China “has moved some” in allowing its currency to rise, it remains “substantially undervalued,” he said.

The legislation would let U.S. companies seek duties on imports from China to compensate for the effect of a weak yuan, which lawmakers said gives Chinese companies an unfair advantage against U.S. manufacturers.

China’s yuan rose after the central bank set a record daily reference rate, fueling speculation policy makers will favor currency gains as a means to tame inflation and support global exports. The currency gained 0.08 percent to 6.3938 per dollar in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah has asked the administration to clarify its stance on the legality of the legislation before the Senate debates it next week.

China’s currency policies have cost more than 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001, Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio said at a news conference last week.

Schumer proposed similar measures in each of the past six years. None has received a Senate vote.

--With assistance from Eric Martin in Washington. Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at kandersen7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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