Bloomberg News

Geithner Reiterates White House Concern on China Currency Bill

October 06, 2011

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Congress needs to address whether a bill that would penalize China for the value of its currency violates international agreements.

“If this bill were to advance, then Congress would, or should, address the concerns that have been raised about the consistency of some provisions with our international commitments,” Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee today.

The Senate today advanced legislation letting U.S. companies seek duties to compensate for a Chinese yuan that lawmakers say is undervalued. The senators approved by a 62-38 margin a motion limiting debate on the bill backed by Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Charles Schumer of New York and 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, may stall in the House. Republican Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said today that the bill could start a trade war.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Oct. 4 that while the Obama administration shares the legislation’s goal of ensuring “that our workers and businesses have a more level playing field with the Chinese,” the measure also raises “concerns about consistency with our international obligations.”

--With assistance from Eric Martin in Washington. Editor: Paul Badertscher, Vince Golle

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at Ikatz2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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