WASHINGTON — Several House Democrats rejected arguments Thursday that forcing derivatives trades onto clearing platforms or exchanges could cost counterparties millions.

At the first of two hearings by the House Agriculture Committee to review a bill proposed by the Treasury Department to regulate derivatives, members heard from business and trade groups that said their customers used derivatives to hedge risks such as fluctuating grain and gas prices. Meeting margin requirements set by a central clearing party could make it too difficult for these businesses to continue using derivatives to hedge, they said, and expose them to greater risks.

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