WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in the White House. There’s only one problem – it’s not true anymore.
It’s been years since the world’s second-biggest economy has pushed down its currency to benefit Chinese exporters. And even if China were attempting a manipulation, the law targeting manipulators requires that the U.S. spend a year negotiating a solution before it can retaliate.
Still, the U.S-China trade relationship is lopsided with China selling a lot more to the U.S. than it buys. The resulting trade deficit in goods amounted to a staggering $289 billion through the first 10 months of 2016.
A former Commerce Department official, Amanda DeBusk, says naming China a currency manipulator is mostly “just a jaw-boning exercise.”