WASHINGTON – The Senate voted Tuesday to threaten China with higher tariffs on Chinese products made cheap through an artificially undervalued currency, which lawmakers blame for destroying American jobs. The House, though, is unlikely to take up the bill, which some American businesses warn could trigger a trade war.
The 63-35 vote showed a broad bipartisan consensus that it is time to end diplomatic niceties with China and confront it over its aggressive trade policies.
“I understand that some on Wall Street don’t like this bill,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. “They are wrong about this.”
Still, the bill could die in the House, where a companion measure has the sponsorship of more than half the members but lacks the support of the GOP leadership.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, like the many large multinational companies that oppose the legislation, has said it would be dangerous to dictate another country’s currency policies, and he can prevent the bill from ever being considered.
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