Trump admin. declines to brand China a currency manipulator

Additionally, US Department of the Treasury established a "monitoring list" of major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices. "Pursuant to the 2015 Act, Treasury has found in this report that no major trading partner met the criteria for the current reporting period", it stated.

And although the administration's first report to Congress on the foreign exchange policies of United States trading partners continues the stance of the Obama administration, putting six countries with troublesome policies on a watch list, it takes a much tougher tone.

Instead, the administration's first twice-yearly currency review singled out China and five other countries as needing to be monitored for their currency practices.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration declined Friday to label China a currency manipulator despite President Donald Trump's insistent pledge during the election campaign that he would do so as soon as he took office.

"Unfortunately the Presidents failure to name China a currency manipulator is symptomatic of a lack of real, tough action on trade against China".

Peter Navarro, the head of Trump's new National Trade Council, in January accused Germany of using a "grossly undervalued" euro to hurt the US economy.

Treasury hasn't branded any nation a currency manipulator - a highly charged assertion - since the Clinton administration labeled China as such in 1994. All told, it put six trading partners on watch, along with Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Trump hasn't named China a "currency manipulator".

"Expanding trade in a way that is freer and fairer for all Americans requires that other economies avoid unfair currency practices, and we will continue to monitor this carefully", The Hill quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying in a statement.

In its report to Congress, the Treasury Department noted that Beijing had intervened in currency markets for about a decade to depress the value of its currency, the renminbi.

Speaking with the Journal, Trump said he changed his mind because China hadn't been manipulating its currency for months, and that such a move could harm ongoing talks with Beijing on containing the nuclear threat from North Korea.

That "distortion in the global trading system. imposed significant and long-lasting hardship on American workers and companies".

The Treasury did not alter its three major thresholds for identifying currency manipulation put in place previous year by the Obama administration: a bilateral trade surplus with the United States of $20 billion or more; a global current account surplus of more than 3 percent of gross domestic product, and persistent foreign exchange purchases equal to 2 percent of GDP over 12 months.

The report has traditionally been used as a diplomatic tool to prod other countries whose currency policies were deemed a threat to USA industries.

  • Zachary Reyes