Senate prepares for key vote on China currency

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is taking a key vote on whether to move ahead with legislation to impose sanctions on China for keeping its currency undervalued.

By keeping the value of the yuan (yoo-AHN') low, China makes its exports to the U.S. cheaper. A bipartisan group of senators pushing the legislation argues that China's undervalued currency is equivalent to a 25 percent subsidy for Chinese products and that it takes away American jobs.

A first test vote on Monday passed easily, but Thursday's vote could be closer because of haggling between the two parties over amendments. Sixty votes are needed to advance the bill.

Even if it passes the Senate, House Republican leaders have voiced opposition to it and the White House has expressed concerns about taking unilateral action against China.