Trump admin. declines to brand China a currency manipulator

Trevor Jackson
April 15, 2017

Trump is thinking in terms of linking economics and geopolitics.

But with one eye on the colossal U.S. trade deficit, Trump sees things a little differently. What makes this myopia more concerning is that it fails to recognize how such agreements strengthen our North American economic zone in its competition with China. The dollar's strength in the past two years has been a drag on USA exports. Switzerland "could increase reliance on policy rates in order to limit the need for foreign-exchange interventions, which should be made more transparent". In a call with Trump on Wednesday, Xi reaffirmed China's belief that talks were the only way to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, according to state media.

Sandy Pho, a senior program associate for the Kissinger Institute on China at the Wilson Center, said that Trump, like many new presidents, has been facing a learning curve on the ways of Beijing.

President Donald Trump's seeming shift away from an "America first" foreign policy approach is polarizing his supporters, with some disillusioned, and others embracing his recent military actions.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has some choice words for Trump after he declared that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is "no longer obsolete".

The dollar nursed losses on Friday, on track for a losing week as continuing tensions in North Korea underpinned the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency.

YDSTIE: Also this week, Trump reversed his view of the Export-Import Bank, a government agency that provides loan guarantees to finance USA exports.

On Thursday Trump took to social media to express what could be interpreted as cautious optimism on the part of the USA president with regards to Russian Federation. Part of this is that Kim Jong Un just wants to be noticed by the new administration.

Here's the consensus among top Republican and Democratic former officials I spoke with: National security adviser H.R. McMaster ran a tight interagency process; Defense Secretary James Mattis offered the president clear manageable options. The person Trump has chosen to run everything from China policy to Middle East peace negotiations is his callow son-in-law, Jared Kushner. And that's why, presumably, he's trying to bribe China instead.

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In short, while the world might have witnessed this week the end of Donald Trump as the perennial political outsider, it has yet to become fully acquainted with Donald Trump the President.

This form of linkage is unlikely to work this time, however, for at least two reasons. North Korea's February 11th test launch was seemingly coordinated with the Japanese PM's Shinzō Abe while the April 4 launch occurred a day before the Chinese premier's visit to the Winter White House in Florida.

China opposes even limited US military action against its ally and neighbor, which risks dragging both sides into a broader conflict and send refugees clambering toward its border. The U.S. similarly has less leverage than one might think over its dependent allies.

Trump has expressed some of that surprise.

"Things will work out fine between the U.S.A and Russian Federation", he wrote. A "better" trade deal is only a meaningful prize compared to some baseline.

Any such tariffs - for example, an anti-dumping tariff on steel - are going to be challenged by China before the World Trade Organization. However, initially applying a 10 percent levy - or equivalent tax on the conversion of dollars into yuan, which would also impact on investment into China - and then increasing it by 10 percent every six months would go a long way toward persuading Beijing to curtail its mercantilist practices. But China has nearly certainly already figured the risks and costs of such a tariff into its pricing strategy.

He may have omitted the Cuban Missile Crisis and much of the Cold War, but it was an unmistakable message and a far cry from the praise Putin got from Trump during the campaign.

While Trump's promises during the campaign were often emphatic and sometimes extravagant, he did at times switch positions or contradicted past statements.

Trump also appears to be learning on the job.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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