U.S. Industry Moves to Kill China Sanctions Bill

Groups, including U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said retaliatory tariffs 'would likely have the opposite effect and result in retaliation against U.S. exports into China.'

Powerful industry groups on Sept. 21 ratcheted up efforts to stop Congress from hitting China with sanctions, warning the move could spark a trade war.

Fifty-one trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned Senate lawmakers that any legislation authorizing sanctions over China's currency policies would hurt business at home.

U.S. lawmakers have long accused China of rigging international trade by keeping the yuan artificially undervalued, but heading into an election year some are saying the time for talk is over.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has said the Senate could take up the issue soon.

"We understand the Senate may take up legislation this fall that is intended to pressure China to accelerate the appreciation of its currency against the dollar," the trade groups said in a letter to Reid and the Senate's top-ranking Republican.

"We urge you to oppose such a bill," they said, adding "unilateral legislation on this issue would be counterproductive."

Far from forcing China to change its policies, the groups said retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods "would likely have the opposite effect and result in retaliation against U.S. exports into China."

Signatories to the letter also included the U.S.-China Business Council, the Business Roundtable and trade groups representing the manufacturing, agriculture and financial sectors.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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