Exclusive: Trump calls Chinese ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation


U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Steve Holland and David Lawder | WASHINGTON Thu Feb 23, 2017 | 6:55pm EST

President Donald Trump declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing’s foreign exchange practices.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not “held back” in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

“Well they, I think they’re grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven’t held back,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

During his presidential campaign Trump frequently accused China of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make Chinese exports cheaper, “stealing” American manufacturing jobs.

But Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday he was not ready to pass judgment on China’s currency practices.

Asked if the U.S. Treasury was planning to name China a currency manipulator any time soon, Mnuchin said he would follow its normal process of analyzing the currency practices of major U.S. trading partners.

The Treasury is required to publish a report on these practices on April 15 and Oct. 15 each year.

“We have a process within Treasury where we go through and look at currency manipulation across the board. We’ll go through that process. We’ll do that as we have in the past,” Mnuchin said in his first televised interview since formally taking over the department last week. “We’re not making any judgments until we go continue that process.”

A formal declaration that China or any other country manipulates its currency requires the U.S. Treasury to seek negotiations to resolve the situation, a process that could end in punitive tariffs on the offender’s goods.

The U.S. Treasury designated Taiwan and South Korea as currency manipulators in 1988, the year that Congress enacted the currency review law. China was the last country to get the designation, in 1994.

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The current situation is complicated because China’s central bank has spent billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves in the past year to prop up the yuan to counter capital outflows.

The International Monetary Fund said last year that the yuan’s value was broadly in line with its economic fundamentals. The U.S. Treasury also said in its last currency report in October that its view of China’s external imbalances had improved somewhat.
Trump’s pronouncements about the yuan could also complicate matters for Mnuchin as he prepares for his first meeting next month with his Group of 20 finance minister counterparts in Baden Baden, Germany.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Steve Holland, Writing by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Trump calls Chinese ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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4 Comments on “Exclusive: Trump calls Chinese ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation”

  1. johnleecan says:

    There will come a time in the near future of Trump’s term that most Americans won’t believe what he says anymore. All he is blurting is what he wants to believe.

    He still and will always think he’s in “The Apprentice” show. He thinks he can always get what he wants and thinks he can always get away with what he wants.

    The truth is, many Republicans who didn’t like Trump before the election but were forced to vote for him since they(Republican voters) don’t like Democrats because of their liberal policies. Now, many Republicans hate seeing the president they voted still acts and thinks like a child.

    Do you know why Trump don’t want to produce his income tax returns? It’s because Trump duped many of his investors. Producing his income tax returns will result in tons of lawsuits against Trump. Dumb Americans can’t even figure it out.

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  2. Fugu says:

    Does Trump have information that the IMF and his Treasury doesn’t have? He better not be shooting off his mouth again before getting the facts right. It is unbecoming for the President of the wealthiest state on this planet to made undiplomatic pre-judgements about other countries before double-checking his facts.

    Quite likely he has been listening too much to racist Sinophobic faux-economist Peter Navarro. When is he going to sack this “advisor”. Unlike Michael Flint, the absence of a fraud like Navaro is no loss to his Administration, the U.S., China, and the world. Get a real economist like Schiff to replace him.

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  3. Steve says:

    It’s a prestigious trophy, coveted off the hegemonic scoundrels (USA) to be named as Grand Champions of currency manipulation — if true. The US are downright jealous.

    China’s Peoples Bank of China does not need US permission to sell it’s Yuan. Americans has enjoyed cheap and highly profitable goods from China for decades. US manufacturing entrepreneurs has enjoyed immense profits in China and US jobs has not being stolen. It’s the US govt.’s high extortion company tax that has chased US manufacturing companies off shore. The US has not being a manufacturing nation for decades.

    King Scoundrel Trump should be careful with his choice of words, it’s the US printing it’s toilet greenbacks. The US spent over $2 trillion dollars during the illegal invasion of Iraq causing untold suffering with over 3 million Iraqis slaughtered and looting the Iraqi oilfields. The US is now 20 trillion $$$ in financial debt. Maybe its about time China pull the plug and sink the scoundrel nation.

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  4. Simon says:

    America is the biggest currency manipulator by far. They print more green backs everytime its economy is in trouble. For a country that don’t manufacture much how could they become the largest economy if they have not fiddle with their currency which happens to be the default currency of the world when what they print is actually worthless.

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