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.