World

Trump: China is 'champion' of currency manipulation

WASHINGTON:  US President Donald Trump declared China the "grand champion" of currency manipulation on Thursday, hours after his new Treasury Secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analysing Beijing's foreign exchange practices.

Mr Trump told Reuters he has not "held back" in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office. "I think they're grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven't held back," he said.

But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that he was not ready to pass judgment. He said he would follow the normal process of analysing the currency practices of major US trading partners. The Treasury is required to publish a report on these practices twice a year, on on April 15 and Oct 15.

"We have a process within Treasury where we go through and look at currency manipulation across the board," Mr Mnuchin said.

A formal declaration that any country is manipulating its currency requires the Treasury to seek negotiations to resolve the situation, a process that could end in punitive tariffs on the offender's goods.

Beijing rejected Mr Trump's claim yesterday, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying that China had "no intention of deliberately devaluing its currency to gain a trade advantage". - REUTERS

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