Moves to combat government-led manipulation of exchange rates have been welcomed by pressure groups and lobbying organisations in the US.

The bi-partisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2013, supported by eight Senators from both parties, has been endorsed by the Fair Currency Coalition (FCC), an alliance of business, agriculture and labour interests, and by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).

The FCC said competitive currency depreciation had become more prevalent over the last two years, claiming that it distorted as much as one-third of the global economy.

Urging the Obama Administration to back the bill, the FCC said: “Manipulated exchange rates subvert the normal working of market forces, skew trade and investment flows, and enable foreign governments to pick winners and losers among American industry.”

The measures are particularly targeted at China, which stands accused of maintaining the yuan at an artificially low level in order to benefit the country’s economy.

“The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act is a commonsense bill and should be passed and signed into law,” said AAM president Scott Paul.

“Congress has acted on China’s currency in 2005, 2010, and 2011.

“I hope 2013 is the year that both the House and Senate finally pass this commonsense legislation.”