Trump admin. declines to brand China a currency manipulator

The department, however, said that both China and Germany should do more to reduce their large trade surpluses with the US.

During the campaign, Trump often claimed that China was manipulating the value of its currency to boost its exports, a policy that cost the United States manufacturing jobs.

According to the central bank, Taiwan only met one of the three criteria in the latest report as Taipei still enjoyed a large current account surplus, but did not meet the criterion which accused a trading partner of persistent one-sided currency intervention.

"The United States can not and will not bear the burden of an global trading system that unfairly disadvantages our exports and unfairly advantages the exports of our trading partners through artificially distorted exchange rates", it said. Steven Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Grou and one of Trump's top economic advisers, raised doubt that the administration would designate China as such in its upcoming report.

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.

In order for a country to be labeled a currency manipulator by the US Treasury, the treasury determines three criteria: the size of the country's current trade surplus with the US; the size of the country's trade surplus with the rest of the world; and the number of times the country intervened in currency markets in recent months.

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 U.S. goods and services and a shift away from exports to more domestic consumption.

With (Other OTC: WWTH - news) a trade surplus in goods with the United States of $347 billion a year ago, and continued policies that restrict free trade and foreign investment, "Treasury will be scrutinizing China's trade and currency practices very closely".

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

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. But on Wednesday, he backed away from that promise in a Wall Street Journal interview.

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. Germany, South Korea and Switzerland should increase public borrowing to support domestic demand for goods and services, the report suggested. Last week, Trump faced strong pushback from the right for green-lighting a US missile strike on a Syrian air base.

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