Trump breaks silence on North Korea, defends reversal on China

He said China may not be manipulating their currency "at the moment because it doesn't suit their economic needs" but "make no mistake about it, as soon as the tide turns they will", he said, adding that the Trump has given them a "green light to steal our jobs".

The U.S. Treasury Department has decided not to label China a currency manipulator in a report published Friday on the foreign exchange policies of America's key trading partners, backing away from President Donald Trump's campaign promise to do so.

Zhou said plans for the U.S. and China to spend 100 days looking for ways to tackle the trade imbalance were "just a beginning" and could result in China lifting a ban on American beef and opening up its financial market in the short term.

Previous administrations have used three factors to determine if a country is a currency manipulator - a trade surplus with the US of more than $20 billion; a current-account surplus totaling more than 3% of its gross domestic product; and repeatedly devaluing its currency by buying foreign assets that equals to 2% of output a year.

The Treasury also warned that it will scrutinize China's trade and currency practices very closely and called for faster opening of China's economy to United States goods and services and a shift away from exports to more domestic consumption.

Before the summit, Trump tweeted that the meeting would be a "very hard one" due to China's large trade deficit and the American jobs it had cost.

Dan DiMicco, the former boss of Nucor steel, said the president's efforts on trade and China were "all talk and no action".

The Treasury Department did keep six countries on the watch list in its semiannual report examining exchange rate fluctuations, the same nations listed by the Obama administration in its final assessment released in October.

Trump's Treasury took the same route as the Obama administration did previous year, putting Germany and China on watch for potential problems.

The report came after China data showed its surplus with the United States was almost unchanged in the first quarter compared to a year earlier at $49.6 billion, and cited China's market protection as an impediment to a balanced trade relationship.

The Treasury warned Japan against resuming currency interventions, saying that these "should be reserved only to very exceptional circumstances with appropriate prior consultations, consistent with Japan's G-7 and G-20 commitments".

While Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last week agreed to 100-day trade talks, U.S. business leaders in China have expressed concern about a lack of progress in gaining further access to the Chinese market despite years of negotiations. China was labeled a currency manipulator between 1992 and 1994. The countries agreed to a 100-day plan for trade talks to boost USA exports to China, and China said it was willing to offer US companies greater access to its markets for beef and financial services.

Schumer also said that the best way to get China to cooperate on North Korea was to be tough on them with trade, which is first thing the Chinese government "cares about".

Also, Seoul's financial authorities intervened on the foreign exchange market throughout 2016 in order to ease a sharp depreciation of the local currency, selling $6.6 billion over the on-year period.

The checklist also includes Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Switzerland.

  • Zachary Reyes