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House Bill to Punish China Over Currency is More Symbol Than Solution
Date: 9/27/2010
Written By: McClatchy Newspapers (Appeared in Miami Herald) By Kevin G. Hall and David Lightman

Excerpt: The House of Representatives is to vote Wednesday on legislation that aims to help U.S. firms that claim harm from China's low currency exchange rate, which benefits Chinese exports and hurts its competitors, including America. The legislation enjoys rare bipartisan support, as lawmakers in both parties appeal to voter anger about the sour economy by blaming China. Should Congress and the administration agree to take punitive action against China over its currency policy, a trade war probably would follow, as both the U.S. and China have their own domestic politics to navigate. "It's like the two need a marriage counselor," said Timothy P. Stratford, a former U.S. trade negotiator with China, now in Beijing with the law firm Covington & Burling LLP... While the rhetoric could grow louder, both sides are unlikely to let relations deteriorate into a trade war, Stratford said. "I don't think we're going to go to a worst-case scenario," Stratford told reporters at a National Foreign Trade Council luncheon in Washington on Monday, adding that "the word 'war' is the right word, because you're trying to inflict damage until the other cries uncle."