Congress threatens currency bill as Obama and Hu prepare to meet

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Congress threatens currency bill as Obama and Hu prepare to meet

Washington Post – While the White House is preparing festivities for Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit this week, Congress has been less welcoming.

Lawmakers are seizing on the visit to again raise longstanding concerns about currency manipulation and the impact on U.S. jobs. Some are seeking to sanction China for economic policies they see as unfair or even illegal.

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) on Tuesday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying they planned to introduce legislation that would provide ammunition for the government to respond to currency manipulation.

More specifically, their bill would allow the Department of Commerce to treat currency undervaluation as a prohibited export subsidy.

"China's actions to subsidize its exports through currency manipulation pose both immediate and long-term challenges to American manufacturers and workers still recovering from the economic recession," the lawmakers said in the letter.

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