Trump U-turn: U.S. declines to brand China as currency manipulator officially

The Trump administration has officially declined to brand China a currency manipulator, in another major U-turn for the U.S. president, who had repeatedly pledged during his campaign to do so soon after taking office.

In a semiannual report to Congress, the department kept Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland on the so-called "monitoring list", saying the six economies warrant "close attention to their currency practices". The Treasury notified Seoul that it was closely monitoring its currency intervention practices.

Many economists have argued that the Chinese currency, RMB, has been at equilibrium level in recent years.

During his presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly pledged to brand China a currency manipulator soon after taking office.

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

Washington D.C. [United States], Apr. 15 (ANI): The Trump administration has not labeled any country, including China, as a currency manipulator in a report examining exchange rate fluctuations.

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"China now has an extremely large and persistent bilateral trade surplus with the United States, which underscores the need for further opening of the Chinese economy to American goods and services, " as well as quicker reforms to boost household consumption, according to the Treasury report.

The Korea International Trade Association welcomed the United States decision not to label South Korea a currency manipulator, calling it a "rational outcome".

He made the comments days after meeting China's President Xi Jinping.

Trump expressed confidence that things will "work out fine" with Russian Federation and hoped that China would "properly deal" with North Korea.

However, Korea is not completely in the clear as it still meets two of the three requirements that could portray Asia's fourth-largest economy as a manipulator with a trade surplus exceeding $20 billion.

The semi-annual US Treasury currency report released on Friday did not name any major trading partner as a currency manipulator, although it seemed to leave open the option for action in the future.

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The two countries' trade imbalance is easing as middle-income Chinese generate a huge demand for imported products, according to both U.S. and Chinese official data.

FILE - euros, the Hong Kong dollar, USA dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese 100-yuan banknotes are seen in a picture illustration shot, January 21, 2016.

The next report by the U.S. Treasury will be in October.

Economists say the USA currency could rise further as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.

The report uses three criteria - a significant bilateral trade surplus with the USA; a material current-account surplus; and involvement in persistent one-sided intervention in the foreign-exchange market - to determine whether a trading partner is to be named a currency manipulator.

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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