The Trump administration has again declined to label China a currency manipulator, but says it is keeping China and five other nations on a watch list.
“Of particular concern are China’s lack of currency transparency and the recent weakness in its currency,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in his biannual report to Congress.
“Those pose major challenges to achieving fairer and more balanced trade and we will continue to monitor and review China’s currency practices, including thorough ongoing discussions with the People’s Bank of China,” he said.
Mnuchin said China — along with Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland — would be placed on a list of countries whose currency practices require what the report calls “close attention.”
Governments manipulate currency by keeping the exchange rates artificially low to make its goods and services cheaper on the world market.
But that puts trading partners and others at a disadvantage. President Donald Trump promised throughout the campaign to label China a currency manipulator once he got into office, but so far he has declined to do so.
Instead, Trump has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports to address what he says are unfair trade practices and the trade deficit.