Trump administration says no US trading partners manipulate currency
Apr 19, 2017, 09:50
Korea was let off the hook as a currency manipulator as part of the U.S. Treasury Department's first foreign exchange policy report under U.S. President Donald Trump.
China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan remained on a list for special monitoring of currency practices, China by virtue of a massive trade surplus with the United States.
The report said China remained on the list because of its "disproportionate share of the overall U.S. trade deficit", despite that China's current account surplus was only 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2016, sharply down from 2.8 per cent of GDP in 2015.
"While China now meets only one of the three criteria for currency manipulation listed in the report, the text makes clear that China's large bilateral trade surplus with the USA is by itself enough to warrant careful scrutiny of China's trade and currency practices", Prasad said.
Further, the report said that greater transparency of China's exchange rate and reserve management operations and goals was of extreme importance.
The report comes one week after mostly positive talks between Trump and China President Xi Jinping.
The decision not to name China a currency manipulator has marked one of the sharpest major reversals of Trump's young presidency.
The US report said Asia's fourth-largest economy posted US$28 billion in goods surplus with the USA last year, with its current account surplus accounting for 7 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
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"China will need to demonstrate that it lacks of intervention to resist appreciation over the last three years represents a durable policy shift by letting the [renminbi] rise with market forces once appreciation resume". This was the second call Yoo made to Mnuchin, who took office in February.
Korea was placed on watch lists after meeting the first two requirements past year and is unlikely to be removed soon.
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 US$49.6 billion (RM218 billion), and cited China's market protection as an impediment to a balanced trade relationship.
FILE - euros, the Hong Kong dollar, US dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese 100-yuan banknotes are seen in a picture illustration shot, January 21, 2016.
Trump, in a recent interview to The Wall Street Journal, backed away from his promise during the presidential campaign to punish China for manipulating the yuan. The dollar's strength in the past two years has been a drag on US exports.
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