WASHINGTON Congress should consider passing legislation to prod China into letting its currency rise in value more quickly against the dollar, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Wednesday.
"I think it's something we have to take a look at," Reid told reporters during a telephone briefing on his recent trip to Beijing with a group of nine other senators.
However, Reid also noted that inflationary pressures could be eroding some of the trade advantage the United States believes China gets from an undervalued exchange rate.
"We've been told by many experts, and this of course is not a majority but a significant number of experts, that with the inflation taking place there the currency will balance out much quicker than anyone anticipated," Reid said.
Reid said he expected Senator Charles Schumer to make a statement "very, very soon" about a meeting they had with China's Central Bank Chairman, Zhou Xiaochuan.
"I gave him my backing on that," Reid said.
Schumer has been one of Congress' vocal critics of China's currency policies, which he says have given Chinese companies an unfair advantage in international trade.
However, repeated efforts by Schumer and others to pressure China on the issue have not led to any bills being passed.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Sandra Maler)