09/23/2011, 00.00
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New bill to stop Beijing from killing “US jobs”

The US Senate is set to discuss a bill that would allow US businesses and unions to trigger investigations against countries like China that illegitimately manipulate their currencies. This negative signal comes after a more positive one over weapons’ sale to Taiwan.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China will stop the “economic murder” of US jobs with its undervalued yuan and “will change its own behaviour” once it is shown that it is not in China’s interest to challenge the United States. US senators unveiled legislation on Thursday to punish China over currency manipulation. However, Washington’s position towards arms sale to Taiwan has not changed; the US will not sell new weapons to the island.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, a key backer of the bill, said President Obama opposes the measure but predicted “China will change its own behaviour once this bill passes the Senate” in a vote expected in October. The bill, which had support from several Republicans, appears a done deal.

The proposed legislation would empower US businesses and, in some cases, labour unions to trigger a US Commerce Department investigation into alleged currency manipulation.

Lawmakers hope that the draft bill will tighten currency controls. Countries declared as manipulators would be punished with countervailing duties and other economic measures that would make it impossible to export into the United States.

Thus, Washington could limit the damages caused to its economy, such as job losses and dependence on Chinese products, by an artificially undervalued yuan.

The same policy would also send a message to the Asian giant after the US decided two days ago not to sell new weapons to Taiwan but only upgrade its arsenal. The latter has led some to believe that Washington is no longer willing to back Taipei against Beijing’s expansionism.
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