Treasury doesn't name any countries as currency manipulators

Treasury doesn't name any countries as currency manipulators
© Getty Images

The Trump administration didn't label any country, including China, a currency manipulator in its Friday report on exchange rates sent to Congress.

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan remained on the monitoring list in the Trump administration’s first report on currency values.

No major trading partner met the three criteria for enhanced analysis or to be labeled a currency manipulator in the second half of 2016.

“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,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The monitoring list was added to the exchange rate report as part of the customs enforcement law.

In recent days, President Trump has backed off his calls to label China a currency manipulator after vowing to punish Beijing in the early days of his administration.

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

After a friendly meeting in Florida with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, Trump changed his mind and told the The Wall Street Journal in an April 12 interview that "they’re not currency manipulators."

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

Economists and business leaders had said that China wasn't manipulating its currency.

The report said that "China has a long track record of engaging in persistent, large-scale, one-way foreign exchange intervention, doing so for roughly a decade to resist renminbi (RMB) appreciation even as its trade and current account surpluses soared."

"The distortion in the global trading system resulting from China’s currency policy over this period imposed significant and long-lasting hardship on American workers and companies," according to the report. 

"Moreover, China continues to pursue a wide array of policies that limit market access for imported goods and services, and maintains a restrictive investment regime which adversely affects foreign investors."