WASHINGTON — A key US congressional panel plans to put the White House in the hot seat at an October 25 hearing to study action against China's "distorting trade politics," the committee's chairman said Tuesday.
"China's distorting trade policies are deeply troubling and cannot be allowed to stand. Its practices are costing US jobs," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said in a statement announcing the session.
"I look forward to hearing the administration's plan for addressing China's persistent barriers to US exports and investment and exploring what should be done to ensure American employers and workers are treated fairly," he said.
The remarks from Camp, whose panel oversees taxes and trade, came with House Republican leaders so far resisting heavy pressure to bring popular legislation to punish Beijing for its alleged currency manipulation to a vote.
The Senate approved the bill last week, drawing a furious reaction from Beijing as well as complaints from the White House, which is known to oppose the measure as written.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has warned the proposal could trigger a "trade war" that could batter the brittle US economy and signalled he will block it while saying President Barack Obama must do more to address the issue.
Camp said China's markets present "enormous potential" for US exports, but charged that Beijing "purposefully makes it harder to sell our goods and services, unfairly subsidizes its own companies, and blatantly steals the intellectual property of American businesses."
Obama "should continue to press China to open its markets through every available avenue. And when China has violated its international obligations, the United States must aggressively enforce its rights," said Camp.