WASHINGTON (AP) - Two senators who say they do not trust China to change what they call unfair trade policy said Tuesday they trust the Bush administration's top negotiator enough to give him a little more time before forcing a vote on punishing tariffs.Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Tuesday as the senators geared up for an expected vote on a Senate bill that would impose a 27.5 percent tariff on Chinese goods.However, the measure is not expected to become law this year. The administration opposes the bill and there is no companion measure in the House of Representatives.The senators say the tariff is necessary to force China to float its currency, the yuan. U.S. critics of China say the yuan's value is artificially undervalued by as much as 40 percent, making Chinese products much cheaper on the world market and hurting U.S. manufacturers.But after the closed-door meeting with Paulson, the senators voiced renewed hope that the Bush administration, through Paulson, could get results. They said they would take a day or two to decide whether to hold a vote before Congress goes on recess at the end of the week.The senators are holding out hope that Paulson's personal connections and charm can resolve a three-year-old impasse that his predecessors could not.On a recent trip to China, Paulson drew on his own close ties with Chinese officials, built up during some 70 trips he made to China while at Goldman Sachs, where he enjoyed a good deal of success winning business for the investment firm.American companies blame the loss of nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs since Bush took office in part on the Chinese currency policy.Schumer and Graham were promised a vote on their tariff legislation this week. Many analysts believe it is likely to pass, given the growing anti-trade sentiment in a nation facing skyrocketing deficits.The National Association of Manufacturers opposes the measure; the National Council of Textile Organizations supports it.
Senators Delay Vote On China Tariff
Tue, 09/26/2006 - 7:44am