The US House of Representatives yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favour of raising tariffs on Chinese imports-sending a strong message to China to stop manipulating its currency, which makes its goods cheaper on world markets and cuts off competitors from other countries.
The bill, which requires being passed by the Senate and signed by US President Barack Obama for it to become law, will be the beginning of a trade war between the world's largest and second-largest economies.
Cutting across party lines, the House voted 348-79 with 5 Democrats and 79 Republicans voting against the bill.
It has been widely known for years that China was manipulating its currency by undervaluing the renminbi, but China, in the past has always ignored other countries criticism that the undervalued renminbi is titled highly in its favour and affects the business of other nations.
Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said, "Talk doesn't work," and rejected protests from the Obama administration that the best way to persuade China to abandon its unfair practices is to use quiet diplomacy in international forums.
The bill is intended to protect US jobs against unfair trade competition at a time when the country is reeling under the after effects of a serious recession and is unable to bring down high rates of unemployment.