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US drops currency manipulation charge against China

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) The US has dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator, according to a report by the US Treasury Department.

In its semi-annual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the US, the Treasury Department on Monday said no major US trading partner at this time met the relevant legislative criteria for currency manipulation, Xinhua reported.

Noting that the department assessed developments over the last several months with China and its currency practices, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that “China has made enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation, while promoting transparency and accountability.”

Mark Sobel, US chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, an independent think tank, said on Twitter that this is “good news,” calling the designation “blatant” and “errant” political act.

“China shouldn’t have been designated to start with,” said Sobel, who was the US representative at the IMF, and served as deputy assistant secretary at the US Treasury Department. He noted China’s current account surplus is small as a share of GDP, and there is “scant intervention.”

Amid heightened trade tensions, the US Treasury Department decided to label China a currency manipulator in August, drawing strong criticism from domestic and abroad, with many calling the designation groundless and irresponsible.

–IANS

pgh/

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