(Updates with roll-call vote in second paragraph.)
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. legislation aimed at letting American businesses seek duties on Chinese imports to make up for the weak yuan advanced in the Senate.
The 79-19 vote today lets the Senate begin considering the bill introduced by Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Charles Schumer of New York, with 19 co-sponsors, including Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
The legislation, opposed by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that say it may led to a trade dispute, may stall in the Republican-controlled House. Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia both voted against a similar measure that passed the House last year.
“The strong, bipartisan vote should send a signal to China, as well as to the White House and House Republicans, that voters are demanding action to defend American jobs and a level playing field for U.S. businesses,” Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said in a statement.
Schumer, who has proposed similar measures over the past six years, has failed so far to get an up-or-down Senate vote on such a bill. Supporters say it has a better chance of passing the Senate this time because China, the world’s second-biggest economy after the U.S., has become a target for lawmakers frustrated by the widening trade deficit with that nation and domestic unemployment stuck at 9.1 percent.
--Editors: Steve Geimann, Joe Winski
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