Boehner: Currency bill on China 'dangerous'

Updated: 2011-10-05 09:40


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WASHINGTON - US House Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday that the Senate vote to allow debate on a controversial bill on so-called "currency manipulation" by China is "pretty dangerous," indicating a less possibility for the bill to pass the House of Representatives.

"It's pretty dangerous to be moving legislation through the United States Congress forcing someone to deal with the value of their currency," Boehner told reporters a day after the US Senate cleared a procedural vote to advance the action.

The bill, Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, sets in motion a process for imposing punitive tariffs on a country with misaligned currencies, noticeably Chinese renminbi, or yuan.

Even if the measure passed a floor vote in the Senate, it needs to get approval from the House before it could reach the president for being signed into law.

Boehner said he has got concerns about the Chinese currency issue, but he does not think it is a proper way to solve the problem by passing the legislation.

Republican leaders are reported that they have no plans to bring it up for a vote unless the issue flares up as a core dispute in the November 2012 presidential races.

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier warned an "escalation" in trade tensions could have painful "unintended consequences" and said President Barack Obama should use existing powers "if there are unfair practices going on."

Immediately after the Senate vote on Monday, the Chinese government expressed its strong opposition to the US Senate action, warning that it "seriously violates rules of the World Trade Organization and obstructs China-US trade ties."

US media, including the Washington Post editorial said that the Senate bill is "counterproductive" and will do more harm than good to the United States.