Trump administration designates China ‘currency manipulator’

Washington, August 6

The US on Monday designated China a “currency manipulator”, a move that could escalate the tense trade relations between the two nations.

Beijing has let the yuan fall to a politically sensitive level against the dollar and Chinese firms have reportedly stopped buying US farm produce.

During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump had promised to label China as a currency manipulator, but the Department of Treasury kept the country on its watch list, declining to take the step.  

On Monday night, the department announced, “Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin, under the auspices of President Trump, has today determined that China is a ‘Currency Manipulator’.

Mnuchin, after this decision, would engage with the International Monetary Fund to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions, the treasury said.

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted, “China is intent on continuing to receive the hundreds of Billions of Dollars they have been taking from the US with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation. So one-sided, it should have been stopped many years ago!”

In a statement, the treasury department alleged that China had a long history of facilitating an undervalued currency through protracted, large-scale intervention in the foreign exchange market.

In recent days, China had taken concrete steps to devalue its currency, while maintaining substantial foreign exchange reserves despite active use of such tools in the past, it claimed. PTI