House panel votes Friday on China currency bill

An employee counts Yuan banknotes at a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, Anhui August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key panel in the House of Representatives has scheduled a business meeting on Friday to vote on legislation pressuring China to revalue its currency, according to a committee notice.

The House Ways and Means Committee will meet Friday morning to consider an amendment crafted by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin, the notice said.

“The bill, as considered by the Ways and Means Committee, will modify the original legislation introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) to make it fully consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules,” Levin said in a statement.

The legislation, which is certain to irritate Beijing, would essentially treat China’s “undervalued” currency as an export subsidy and allow the Commerce Department to impose countervailing duties to offset the undervaluation.

U.S. companies applying for the duties would have to show they have been injured by China’s exchange rate practices.

Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Doina Chiacu