US Treasury: China not a currency manipulator

"China continues to pursue a wide array of policies that limit market access for imported goods and services, and maintains a restrictive investment regime which adversely affects foreign investors", it said.

China does not fully meet the department's definition of a currency manipulator because it has recently been buying yuan to prevent a sudden drop in the Chinese currency, instead of steering it lower.

Business executives are also anxious that President Donald Trump's focus on curtailing North Korea's nuclear and missile programs could undercut USA commercial interests in China.

The department is required by law to report to Congress twice a year on whether America's major trading partners are gaming their currencies.

"Trump's "far better trade deal" linkage to North Korea is amateurish, illogical horse trading, at best", Zimmerman said.

"China has a long track record of engaging in persistent, large-scale, one-way foreign exchange intervention", the Treasury Department said in its semiannual report on the foreign-exchange policies of major USA trade partners.

The White House has said U.S and Chinese officials are still at the early stages of "fleshing out" a pledge by Trump and Xi to develop the 100-day plan to reduce the USA trade deficit with China, which a year ago reached $347 billion.

It was the third time for Taiwan to be placed on the currency monitoring list since the United States started to publish such a report in April 2016.

Additionally, US Department of the Treasury established a "monitoring list" of major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices. "China steals our intellectual property, doesn't let American companies compete in China, and has manipulated their currency causing the loss of millions of jobs", said Senate Minority Leader Charles E Schumer.

Trump said the Chinese "are not currency manipulators", in a Wednesday interview with the Wall Street Journal, stepping back from past accusations that the Chinese are the "grand champions at manipulation of currency".

"We arrived at many common understandings, the most important, that of deepening our friendship and building a kind of confidence", said Xi in statements to the press together with his host.

Lew said that China will benefit from increased USA investment in service sectors such as finance and insurance, while the United States could benefit from foreign direct investment from China, which helps create jobs.

This week, in an interview, Trump had indicated that he was backing away from his campaign threat because he felt China hadn't been manipulating its currency in recent months and because labeling it as such now could jeopardize Beijing's cooperation in confronting North Korea.

"They will be closely, in the not-too-distant future, in a position where they can hit all 50 states in the United States with an ICBM, " he said on "State of the Union, " using an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missile.

Treasury hasn't branded any nation a currency manipulator - a highly charged assertion - since the Clinton administration labeled China as such in 1994.

Other countries on the list are Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and Switzerland.

The U.S. business community should not be used as a "bargaining chip", said James Zimmerman, a Beijing-based lawyer and the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

  • Zachary Reyes