Members press China on Iron, currency, human rights

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Members press China on Iron, currency, human rights

Washington Post — As Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visits Washington Tuesday, members of Congress and others are ramping up their calls for China to address a range of issues including the valuation of its currency, its human rights record and Iran’s nuclear program.

The China currency issue is one that remains a hot topic on Capitol Hill, particularly as the United States continues its sluggish economic recovery. The Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support late last year a measure that would have given the Treasury Department greater latitude in pressuring China to allow the value of its currency, the yuan, to rise.

But the measure has stalled in the House, where Republican leaders have declined to bring the measure to the floor, arguing that the White House must first make its position known on the bill.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who is up for reelection this year and is one of the strongest congressional critics of China’s currency policy, penned a letter to the White House on Monday calling for stronger enforcement of U.S. trade laws with China.

“China is one of the United States’ largest trading partners — and one of the biggest violators of international trade laws,” Brown said in a statement. “From currency manipulation to rare and raw earth hoarding to its outright subsidization of a wide variety of emerging industries, the Chinese government has shown that it will stop at virtually nothing to give its businesses an unfair trade advantage.”

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