What it means if Trump declares China a currency manipulator

FILE PHOTO A man walks past a billboard with the U.S. currency displayed on its outside a bank in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. China's state media reported China's yuan further weakened on Thursday and for the first time since 2008 fall beyond 6.9 against the U.S. dollar. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
FILE PHOTO A man walks past a billboard with the U.S. currency displayed on its outside a bank in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. China's state media reported China's yuan further weakened on Thursday and for the first time since 2008 fall beyond 6.9 against the U.S. dollar. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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.”

 

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