Trump administration says no U.S. trading partners manipulate currency

The US Department of Treasury yesterday concluded that no major trading partner of the US met the Congressional standards for currency manipulation in the second half of 2016.

Trump heaped criticism on China during his campaign saying they deliberately undervalued their currency, the yuan, to gain an advantage in global trade and create a wide trade deficit with the United States.

President Donald Trump campaigned in the 2016 U.S. election on the pledge he would end what he claimed was widespread manipulation of currency rates that discriminated against American manufacturers, but the report found no evidence of such policies.

"The United States can not and will not bear the burden of an worldwide trading system that unfairly disadvantages our exports and unfairly advantages the exports of our trading partners through artificially distorted exchange rates", it said.

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

Treasury hasn't branded any nation a currency manipulator - a highly charged assertion - since the Clinton administration labeled China as such in 1994. He said he had changed his mind on China.

"Expanding trade in a way that is freer and fairer for all Americans requires that other economies avoid unfair currency practices, and we will continue to monitor this carefully", The Hill quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying in a statement. "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.

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

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Trump's dramatic reversal on China's currency follows a cordial meeting between the president and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on April 6 and 7.

Trump said during the WSJ interview that the US and China would instead work on improving their trading relationship if Beijing will help with the nuclear threat in North Korea.

The promise of restoring American jobs by cutting off what it considers unfair trading practices has been a signature promise of the Trump administration.

In the interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said he had offered the Chinese better trade terms in exchange for their help on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea.

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Since the central bank was reluctant to intervene in recent sessions, the Taiwan dollar appreciated more than 6 percent against the greenback in the first quarter of this year, which sparked an outcry from exports-oriented firms, particularly those in the high-tech sector which had incurred large foreign exchange losses in the three-month period. All five of these countries were also on the list in the previous report.


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