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Trump administration report labels no USA trading partners as currency manipulators

15 April 2017

The U.S. Treasury releases the Report on Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States in a bid to implement the new provisions of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, also known as the Customs Bill.

The Opposition Democratic party leaders slammed Trump Administration for going back on its poll promise. The reversal by the Treasury department was one of the nearly half-a-dozen instances when Donald Trump or his administration have gone back on his poll campaign promises. But this week he said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was no longer obsolete. The countries - China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Switzerland - were the same six named in the last currency report issued by the Obama administration in October.

U.S. Treasury Department on Friday declared that no major trading partner of the U.S., including China, met the standard of manipulating its currency, while six economies were listed on its Monitoring List as their foreign exchange polices bear close monitoring.

The semi-annual U.S. Treasury currency report, however, did keep China on a currency "monitoring list" despite Beijing's progress in reducing its global current account surplus, citing its unusually large trade surplus with the United States.

"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.

The decision not to name China a currency manipulator has marked one of the sharpest major reversals of Trump's young presidency.

The association said South Korea's trade surplus with the USA was caused by non-currency factors, not currency manipulation.

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Washington D.C. [United States], Apr. 15: The Trump administration has not labeled any country, including China, as a currency manipulator in a report examining exchange rate fluctuations.

Schumer also said that the best way to get China to cooperate on North Korea was to be tough on them with trade, which is first thing the Chinese government "cares about".

South Korea was put on a monitoring list by the US Treasury Department previous year due to a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States and other factors. He publicly retreated from that position after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida last weekend.

The three criteria Treasury must use to determine whether a nation should be placed on the monitoring list are: the size of its trade surplus with the United States; the size of its current account trade surplus with the rest of the world; and the number of times it has intervened in currency markets in recent months.

It said it will scrutinise China's trade and currency practices very closely, especially in light of the extremely sizable bilateral trade surplus that China has with the US.

With Washington pushing a trade agenda aimed at reducing deficits, experts say the most logical option is to lengthen the time period for reviewing currency market interventions from 12 months to several years.