Japan, China remain on USA 'monitoring list' for currency

Senator Mitch McConnell Wants America to Cut Trump a Break Because He's Just 'Learning the Job'

Trump administration officially declines to label China currency manipulator

No major United States trading partner met Congressional standards for currency manipulation in the 2nd half of 2016.

The reversal on branding China a currency manipulator is among several changes in which Trump has softened tough stances he had taken during the campaign.

The administration's first report to Congress on foreign exchange policies of USA trading partners continues the stance of the Obama administration, putting those and four other countries on a watch list, though using a much tougher tone.

In a semiannual report to Congress, the department kept Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland on the so-called "monitoring list", saying the six economies warrant "close attention to their currency practices".

China is still on a currency "monitoring list" on the US Treasury's semi-annual report, one step below being labeled a currency manipulator.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration declined Friday to label China a currency manipulator despite President Donald Trump's insistent pledge during the election campaign that he would do so as soon as he took office.

The other countries all meet two criteria on the list.

"An essential component of this administration's strategy is to ensure that American workers and companies face a level playing field when competing internationally", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"The fact that that has been going on for so long is emblematic of the imbalance in the way we negotiate and deal with each other", said James McGregor, Chairman of APCO Worldwide in Greater China.China has purchased hardly any American beef since it conditionally lifted an import ban previous year that was imposed in 2003 due to a case of mad cow disease in Washington state.Despite initial media reports suggesting Xi may have offered access for U.S. beef as a concession to stave off rising trade tensions, China's Premier Li Keqiang this week appeared to link progress on the issue to U.S. restrictions on imports of some Chinese poultry products for food safety reasons."China is willing to import market-competitive U.S. beef that meets quality and health standards", Li told a U.S. Congressional delegation in Beijing on Monday, according to the state-run Beijing News.

"The United States 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.

The Opposition Democratic party leaders slammed Trump Administration for going back on its poll promise.

Dan DiMicco, the former boss of Nucor steel, said the president's efforts on trade and China were "all talk and no action".

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 USA, which is due to be ready in June.

"When the President fails to label them a currency manipulator, he gives them a green light to steal our jobs and wealth time and time again", he said.

“I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

It also noted Korea's track record of "asymmetric foreign exchange interventions".

"Moreover, 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".

Trump heaped criticism on China during his campaign saying they deliberately undervalued their currency, the yuan, to gain an advantage in worldwide trade and create a wide trade deficit with the United States.

"In this status, China will have to prove that the lack of intervention to curb the growth rate of the national currency within three years has been a sustainable policy", the U.S. Treasury Department emphasized.

"Treasury places significant importance on China adhering to its G-20 commitments to refrain from engaging in competitive devaluation and not to target China's exchange rate for competitive purposes".

"China has clearly embarked on market-oriented exchange rate reform, with the yuan's daily trading band already expanded to 3 per cent from 0.3 per cent", Zhou said.

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