The Journal Gazette
Saturday, December 04, 2021 1:00 am

US to watch China's foreign exchange activities

MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will not designate any country as a currency manipulator, but it did name China, Vietnam and Taiwan among the countries that have failed to live up to global agreements not to use their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

In a report to Congress released Friday, the Treasury Department cited China for a number of failures that prevent trading partners from gaining full knowledge of how it manages its currency.

The Treasury Department plans to closely monitor the foreign exchange activities of China's state-owned banks to get a clearer picture of China's currency practices, according to the report.

Vietnam and Taiwan have violated a number of criteria that would justify naming them as currency manipulators and both will be watched closely in coming months to see what improvements they make in their currency practices, the report said.

The new report placed 12 countries on a monitoring list for increased scrutiny – China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland. All except Switzerland were on the monitoring list in the last currency report in April.

Being named as a currency manipulator under U.S. law does not carry any immediate penalties but requires the Treasury Department to negotiate with the foreign country in an effort to get it to alter its currency practices. If those negotiations fail, the administration can impose trade sanctions, which can be challenged by countries before the World Trade Organization.

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