WASHINGTON – The House has approved legislation that would allow the U.S. to seek trade sanctions against China and other nations for manipulating their currency to gain trade advantages.

The 348-79 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear. Senate supporters hope to get a vote on a similar proposal after Congress returns after the November elections.

Supporters said the bill would allow the Obama administration to pressure China on an issue that they say has led to the loss of more than 2 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the past decade.

The measure was passed by a wide margin with 99 Republicans joining Democrats to vote yes. Those in opposition included 74 Republicans and five Democrats.

American manufacturers contend that China’s currency is undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the dollar. That makes Chinese products cheaper and more competitive in the U.S. and American products more expensive in China.

The legislation would allow the imposition of stiff sanctions on Chinese imports.