News / USA

    US House Votes to Punish China for Undervaluing Its Currency

    The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure that would punish China and other countries that undervalue their currencies.  The 348-to-79 vote came Wednesday, hours after President Barack Obama expressed concern about the Chinese practice related to its currency.  

    President Obama spoke about the issue in the U.S. state of Iowa Wednesday. "I will say the reason that I'm pushing China about their currency is because their currency is undervalued," he said.



    The president says the undervaluing is a contributing factor to the massive trade imbalance between the United States and China.  

    U.S. lawmakers and businesses accuse Beijing of keeping the yuan artificially low so Chinese-made goods will have a price advantage on world markets.  They say this has led to a loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

    The speaker of the House of Representatives, California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, says the U.S.-China trade deficit has dramatically increased since lawmakers took up the issue two decades ago. "Remember I said the trade deficit was $5 billion a year 20 years ago when we were having this debate then? It is now $5 billion a week," she said.

    Pelosi said the legislation would strengthen the Obama administration and future U.S. governments in negotiations with the Chinese.

    Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, who sponsored the bill, says the currency manipulation means the Chinese government is artificially subsidizing exports to the United States, translating into low-priced goods from China that hurt the U.S. economy "It may be cheap, because it is being subsidized by their government.  But it's putting American workers and American manufacturers out of business," he said.

    Republicans, while agreeing the Chinese currency is undervalued, expressed concern that the bill does not cover other issues with China, including intellectual property rights, and say it is punishing American consumers.

    "While this legislation addresses an important issue, it will not address many more pressing trade concerns with China, and it will not advance the goal of doubling exports in five years," said Michigan Republican Congressman Dave Camp.

    The House bill allows the Commerce Department to authorize tariffs on products from countries with an artificially weak currency.  

    Hours before the vote, China's central bank pledged to increase the flexibility of the yuan.

    China said in July that it would allow the yuan to trade more freely against a basket of other currencies, but its value has increased just slightly since then.

    President Obama discussed the issue with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week, urging the Chinese leader to do more to ease tensions over the issue.

    But Mr. Wen told U.S. and Chinese business leaders before his meeting with Mr. Obama that there would be "major turbulence" in China if there were a substantial increase in the yuan.  

    He blamed the huge U.S. trade deficit on the structure of Chinese-U.S. investment and trade, not the value of China's currency.

    The U.S. Senate may vote on a similar measure in November.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.