US says China NOT a Currency Manipulator: 5 Countries Meet 2 of 3 Conditions

The US says China is on the monitor list as are 5 other countries. Trump's Tariffs attack a symptom, not the problem.

Inquiring minds are digging into the 34-page US Treasury report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States.

There are three criteria, all of which much be met, to label a country a currency manipulator. Five countries meet 2 of 3 requirements. China meets only 1 but is still signaled out in the report.

The three conditions are defined in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

Conditions

  1. A a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States is one that is at least $20 billion
  2. A material current account surplus is one that is at least 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)
  3. Persistent, one-sided intervention occurs when net purchases of foreign currency are conducted repeatedly and total at least 2 percent of an economy’s GDP over a 12-month period

Monitor List

China, Japan, Korea, India, Germany, and Switzerland

Report Findings

  • Five major trading partners of the United States met two of the three criteria for enhanced analysis in this Report or in the April 2018 Report.
  • One major trading partner, China, constitutes a disproportionate share of the overall U.S. trade deficit.
  • Japan, Germany, and Korea have met two of the three criteria in every Report since the April 2016 Report having material current account surpluses combined with significant bilateral trade surpluses with the United States.
  • Switzerland met two of the three criteria in every Report between October 2016 and April 2018 – having a material current account surplus and having engaged in persistent, one-sided intervention in foreign exchange markets – and it met one of the three criteria in this Report, a material current account surplus.
  • India met two of the three criteria in the April 2018 Report – having a significant bilateral surplus with the United States and having engaged in persistent, one-sided intervention in foreign exchange markets – and it met one of the three criteria in this Report, a significant bilateral surplus with the United States.
  • China has met one of the three criteria in every Report since the October 2016 Report, having a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States, with this surplus accounting for a disproportionate share of the overall U.S. trade deficit. Treasury will closely monitor and assess the economic trends and foreign exchange policies of each of these economies.

Global Current Account Imbalances

Global Current Account Trends

Over the last three years, the majority of the United States’ major trading partners have seen current account imbalances widen – as has the United States – though there are some exceptions. China’s current account surplus has narrowed markedly, though its merchandise trade surplus remains large and researchers have raised questions about measurement issues that could cause the reported current account balance to be understated.

Korea’s surplus has also narrowed somewhat from recent peak levels. But several European economies, as well as Japan and Taiwan, have seen external surpluses grow.

Currency Reserves

China Exchange Rate

Recent movements in China’s currency have not been in a direction that will help reduce China’s large trade surplus. Since mid-June, the RMB has weakened more than 7 percent versus the dollar and close to 6 percent against the CFETS nominal basket.

Intervention Down

China Current Account Balance

Note that China's current account balance is now negative with the whole world even as it soars with the US!

Japan Current Account Balance

Korea Current Account Balance

India Current Account Balance

As with China, India has a current account deficit. Unlike China, the deficit is perpetual.

What About Thailand and Vietnam?

Fundamental Flaw

Trump expects bilateral parity. Tariffs cannot fix the fundamental flaw.

Trump is attacking a symptom of the problem, not the problem!

The imbalances all started when Nixon closed the gold window. Credit exploded and did deficits.

Trade imbalances that were once self-correcting no longer are self-correcting.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-7
abend237-04
abend237-04

Like most huge accidents, this one has multiple contributors. Nixon's taking us off gold was one, but our reserve currency status was the other. Imagine a village of cookie bakers agreeing to let the fat kid down the street store all the cookies because he has a huge cookie jar.

RonJ
RonJ

"The imbalances all started when Nixon closed the gold window. Credit exploded and did deficits."

The Vietnam War and Great Society programs came before the closing of the gold window. Guns and butter broke the peg.

Stuki
Stuki

Let's make up some completely arbitrary and inane definition of something utterly irrelevant. Then label it some newspeakian word that well indoctrinated drones have been told to associate with something baaaad. Then run around and pontificate about how all this means that "we" (meaning me) need to ban people from doing what they want to do, and take their money. Rinse. Repeat. Until we've decayed to the point where the Muzzies can come in and put us out of our misery.

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Labeling any country with a debt-based, Central Bank-managed fiat currency (which today is basically ALL of them) is like giving out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

lol
lol

all of a sudden trump kissin china's ass, turnin out to be as big a pussy as Obama lol!bow to your beijeng masters!

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