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Legislation Seeks New Tariffs On Chinese Goods

Washinigton Outlook

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Legislation Seeks New Tariffs on Chinese GoodsConcerned that the Bush administration is not taking strong enough actions to combat what they believe are subsidized Chinese exports resulting from currency manipulation, textile industry supporters in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would levy additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Sens. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) are offering a bill that would levy tariffs of 27.5 percent if China does not float its currency within 180 days. On the House side, Reps. Cass Ballenger (R-NC), Phil English (R-Penn) and Mark Greene (R-Wisc) are sponsoring a bill that would put a 40 percent tariff on Chinese goods, which is the amount of subsidy industry officials claim China enjoys as a result of its fixed exchange rate. Robert Dupree, vice president of government relations for the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, said the legislation, if enacted, would penalize China for its use of currency manipulation to gain an export advantage. He said the bills in both the House and Senate reflect the growing recognition in Congress that illegal and unfair trade practices are wiping out American jobs.The bills not likely to be enacted, but they could put additional pressure on the administration to act.By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent September 2003