Trump admin declines to brand China a currency manipulator

Though Russia critics welcomed Trump's newly hardened tone, there's less enthusiasm from America's allies in Asia, who fear the US could overlook China's more aggressive posture toward its neighbors.

On Sunday, the president questioned why he would call China a "currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korea problem". Trump had dismissed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete", but now says it is "no longer obsolete". But this week he said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was no longer obsolete.

Two weeks ago, Mr Trump ordered the firing of 59 cruise missiles to target a Syrian airfield in response to President Bashar Al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (Taiwan OTC: 6549.TWO - news) and Switzerland also were again included on Treasury's monitoring list.

One of Donald Trump's most prominent trade advisers has rounded on the president for his U-turn on branding China a currency manipulator.

He's concluded there's more business to be done with Beijing than with Moscow.

"Treasury places significant importance on China adhering to its G-20 commitments to refrain from engaging in competitive devaluation and not to target China's exchange rate for competitive purposes".

In its exchange rate report to Congress, the treasury said that in spite of China's large trade surplus with the USA, it was not acting improperly to depress the value of its currency.

The Opposition Democratic party leaders slammed Trump Administration for going back on its poll promise.

As a candidate, he attacked China on trade, declaring the Chinese "the greatest currency manipulators ever".

"They're not currency manipulators", he said in an interview.

"The basic message is that Japan needs to expand its domestic demand and one can read this as them telling Japan to import more American goods", said Minami of the Norinchukin Research Institute.

Friendly relations with China is also crucial as Trump tries to tackle the troublesome North Korea.

Trump repeatedly pledged in his election campaign to name China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office - prompting fears of a trade war - but did not do so.

This, however, has not reduced trade friction as President Donald Trump maintains his administration will seek to address trade imbalances.

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.

Taiwan's Central Bank said Saturday that the results have been anticipated by the bank so the latest US currency report is unlikely to impose any material adverse impact on the local foreign exchange market.

China was the last nation to be named a currency manipulator by the US.

"China will need to demonstrate that its lack of intervention to resist appreciation over the last three years represents a durable policy shift", the report said.

  • Zachary Reyes