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House passes bill that would exempt foreign trades

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed a bill to exempt derivatives trading from federal oversight if it occurs abroad.

Supporters say the exemption is necessary to allow US companies to remain competitive in foreign markets. Opponents say regulations outside the United States tend to be weaker and the broader financial system would be at risk.

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Derivatives are investments whose value is based on some other investment, such as oil and currencies. The market was largely unregulated around the globe before the 2008 financial crisis and contributed to the meltdown.

The bill’s prospects in the Senate are uncertain. The president has signaled he would veto the legislation.

The White House said Tuesday that House passage of ‘‘would be premature and disruptive’’ to regulators’ ongoing efforts to write rules.

The legislation’s primary authors were House Republicans who opposed the 2010 financial overhaul legislation, but many Democrats endorsed it. A key thrust in 2010 was to put new reins on derivatives, which have grown increasingly complex and risky.

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