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Since China provides about one-fifth of goods imported into the U.S., the rise in prices — if it is big enough — could touch off worries at the Federal Reserve that the long period of tame inflation in core consumer prices is over, Mr. Andreopoulos said.

The Fed’s St. Louis reserve bank last year signaled the central bank’s potential concerns, concluding that — despite the intent of political leaders to spur U.S. jobs by making U.S. products more competitive — the yuan’s rise is more likely to touch off a round of worrisome import price increases than bring significant job opportunities back to the U.S.

Erin Ennis, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents U.S. companies that manufacture products in China, said politicians who expect the currency realignment to result in more U.S. jobs are simply mistaken.

A large share of the goods imported from China are not made by Chinese companies but by affiliates of U.S. companies that have located plants in China to take advantage of lower wages and environmental costs. Japanese and Korean companies for the same reasons also manufacture products in China and export them to the U.S.

It is far from clear that those jobs will return to the U.S. if factories in China close, Ms. Ennis said.

“Much of what we import from China today simply replaces imports from other countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea, not products we make in the U.S. today,” she said. People who blame China for U.S. job losses are simply “ignoring the realities of global supply chains and modern manufacturing techniques,” she said.