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White House working with Congress on yuan bill issues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it was talking to U.S. lawmakers to iron out issues it has with a bill to punish China over its currency.

"If this legislation were to advance we would expect those concerns to be addressed," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, reiterating Washington's view that China needs to address the undervaluation of the yuan.

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a bill on Tuesday to slap tariffs on Chinese goods for keeping the yuan low to subsidize its exports at the cost of U.S. jobs. The bill now faces the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, who oppose the measure and warn that it could start a trade war.

"We share the goal of the legislation in taking action to ensure that our workers and companies have a level playing field with China, including addressing the undervaluation of their currency," Carney said, adding:

"Aspects of the legislation do ... raise concerns about consistency with our international obligations, which is why we are in the process of discussing with Congress those issues."

China on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to block the bill, raising the risk of further strains between the world's top two economies.

(Reporting by Alister Bull and Malathi Nayak; editing by Will Dunham and Jackie Frank)