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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Four Senators will turn up the heat on China this afternoon. They’re unveiling a bill intended to protect U.S. trade interests from undervalued currencies like China’s. Last year China’s trade surplus with the U.S. swelled to $232 billion, but some are worried that too much pressure on Beijing could trigger an all-out trade war. Jeremy Hobson has the story.
Jeremy Hobson: Democrats Charles Schumer and Max Baucus and Republicans Lindsey Graham and Charles Grassley are behind the bill.
In 2005, Schumer and Grassley tried and failed to get Chinese goods slapped with a 27 percent tariff.
Many who think China is manipulating its currency wants strong action this time around. Robert Scott is with the Economic Policy Institute:
Robert Scott: The ideal situation is for a bill that would very quickly impose tariffs on China if they fail to revalue their exchange rate.
Many businesses and labor groups agree.
Sebastian Mallaby at the Council on Foreign Relations doesn’t:
Sebastian Mallaby: Picking fights with China over imports on the basis of its currency regime is simply to pick the wrong thing to emphasize in the China relationship.
And could, he says, hamper cooperation on issues like North Korea and environmental reforms. Yesterday, China’s government warned American tariffs would bring a swift response.
I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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