Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Business | By Jorge Reeves

Trump's reversals come after crash course on the issues


The reversal by the Treasury department was one of the aslmost half-a-dozen instances when Donald Trump or his administration have gone back on his poll campaign promises.

Separately on Wednesday, at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said the United States was prepared to tackle the crisis surrounding North Korea without China if necessary. But this week he said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was no longer obsolete. Syrian President Bashar Assad's chief ally - as the only veto-wielding council member to oppose the resolution. "And no doubt Beijing will manipulate its currency in the future unless it is deterred in some way", said Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents industry and steelworkers.

The two countries have become each other's largest trade partner, which has benefited the people of both, he said, adding that trade between the two nations increased by 21.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

In a statement, the Treasury said the findings and recommendations of the Report are meant to combat potentially unfair currency practices and support the growth of free and fair trade. "The US can not and will not bear the burden of an global trading system that unfairly disadvantages our exports and unfairly advantages the exports of our trading partners through artificially distorted exchange rates", it said.

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The Treasury did not alter its three major thresholds for identifying currency manipulation put in place previous year by the Obama administration: a bilateral trade surplus with the United States of $20 billion or more; a global current account surplus of more than 3 percent of gross domestic product, and persistent foreign exchange purchases equal to 2 percent of GDP over 12 months.

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

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said that the issue of "currency misalignment" - which could also include unintentional devaluations - will be addressed in a study of trade abuses by nations that run large surpluses with the US, which is due to be ready in June.

"The best way to get China to cooperate with North Korea is to be tough on them with trade, which is the No. 1 thing China's government cares about", Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of NY said.

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It was the third time for Taiwan to be placed on the currency monitoring list since the United States started to publish such a report in April 2016. In a recent interview after meeting China's President Xi Jinping, he said he no longer planned to go ahead with the move. He expected that the RMB exchange rate would remain stable at current level with China's current account surplus and its efforts to deal with capital outflows.

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, it said.

"It's very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries devaluing their currency", Trump said.

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