China Warns Against Duties on Imports to U.S.

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yuanChina denounced a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to push up the value of the Chinese currency.

The bill, which would let U.S. companies petition for duties on Chinese imports to compensate for the impact of the weak yuan, would hurt the global economy if it became law, the Chinese government said Thursday.

"We firmly oppose the U.S. Congress approving such bills," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said today in Beijing, Bloomberg News reported. "We urge the U.S. congressmen to be clearly aware of the importance of China-U.S. trade and economic relations, resist protectionism so as to refrain from any damage to the interests of both peoples and people around the world."

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The bill passed the House by a vote of 348-79 votes, with support from both Democrats and Republicans.

The Senate will not vote on the bill before the November elections, Senator Charles Schumer (D- NY) said.

The U.S. trade deficit with China hit $25.9 billion in July, up 27% from a year earlier.

China's central bank said yesterday that it will expand flexibility of the yuan. China ended a two-year currency peg in June, but the yuan has appreciated by just 2% since.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said this appreciation was inadequate.

Economists such as C. Fred Bergsten of the Peterson Institute for International Economics say the yuan may be undervalued by as much as 25%.
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