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December 2, 2020

U.S. House passes bill aimed at Chinese yuan, China says it violates WTO

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at putting pressure on China to let its currency rise faster, fanning the flames of a long-running dispute over trade and jobs. The bill, passed 348-79 with heavy support from Democrats but Re­publicans more divided, treats China’s exchange rate as a subsidy. That would open the door to extra duties on Chi­nese goods entering the United States, some of which are already subject to special levies. China on Thurs­day hit back at a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at pressuring Beijing to let its currency rise faster by branding it in violation of world trade rules. The official Xinhua news agency quoted China’s commerce ministry spokes­man, Yao Jian, as saying: “Star­ting a countervailing investigation in the name of exchange rates does not conform with relevant WTO rules.” The bill would need to be passed by the Senate – far from certain – and signed by President Barack Obama to become law.

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