BBC News | 24 September 2010 | 22:34 GMT
A US Congress committee has approved a bill that would place retaliatory trade sanctions on China. It means the House of Representatives – the lower chamber of Congress – will vote on the bill next week. The bill would allow the US to impose import duties on countries that have fundamentally undervalued currencies. To become law, the bill would also need support in the Senate, which is less certain ahead of mid-term Congressional elections due in November.
The US accuses China of holding down the value of its currency, the yuan, in order to give its exports an unfair price advantage. "China’s persistent manipulation is a major distortion in the international marketplace," said Sander Levin, chairperson of the House Ways and Means committee. "[The yuan] has a major impact on American workers and therefore American jobs. That’s what this is really all about."
The draft legislation would require the US Commerce Department to determine the extent to which a currency is undervalued in any case of unfair trade practices brought to it. In August, the department decided to drop a more general investigation into the value of the yuan, despite deciding that China had unfairly subsidised its aluminium exporters.
The Congressional committee’s decision comes a day after US President Barack Obama spent most of a two-hour meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in New York pressing for a stronger yuan.
Reuters | Beijing | Fri Feb 19, 2010 | 12:27pm IST
China accused U.S. President Barack Obama of damaging ties by meeting the Dalai Lama and said it was up to Washington to repair relations between the two global powers, while stopping short of threats of retaliation. Obama held a low-key meeting in the White House on Thursday with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader, in the face of wider tensions with Beijing over U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan, China’s currency policies, trade disputes and Internet censorship. Beijing responded with predictably vehement words, but did not mention any broader retaliation that could deepen strains.
“The U.S. act amounted to serious interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and has seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and seriously damaged China-U.S. relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on the ministry website (www.mfa.gov.cn). The United States should “immediately take effective steps to eradicate the malign effects” of the meeting, said Ma. “Use concrete actions to promote the healthy and stable development of Sino-U.S. relations,” he said. China’s recent rancour over this and other disputes could complicate Obama’s efforts to secure its help on issues such as imposing tougher sanctions on Iran. It has threatened sanctions over the planned U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2010/02/04 | 09:38:17 GMT
- Google – China denies being behind an alleged cyber-attack on the US search engine
- Taiwan – a US sale of $6.4bn (£4bn) of defensive arms to Taiwan has angered Beijing
- Tibet – China says a US meeting with the Dalai Lama would “undermine relations”
- Trade – rows over imports and exports of meat, media, car tyres and raw materials
- Iran – the US fears China will not back tougher sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme
- Climate – the US is disappointed at China’s tough position at the Copenhagen Summit
China has hit back at the US a day after President Barack Obama promised to take a tougher line with Beijing over currency and trade. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said the value of the Chinese Yuan was not the main reason for the country’s trade surplus with the US. Mr. Obama vowed to ensure countries were not giving their currencies an unfair advantage over the dollar. Ties between the US and China have been strained over an arms deal with Taiwan. Tensions have also risen over reports of Chinese cyber-attacks on US-run websites and a planned visit to the US by the Dalai Lama.
US companies have long complained that China keeps its currency artificially undervalued, allowing a steady flow of cheap exports around the world. At a meeting with Senate Democrats, Mr. Obama was asked whether the US would cut ties with Beijing over continuing trade Continue reading