US President Donald Trump accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies as he tries to wrestle concessions from two of the US’s largest trade partners.
“I think China’s manipulating their currency, absolutely. And I think the euro is being manipulated also,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters published Monday.
The president’s accusation, presented without explanation or substantiation in the Reuters report, conflicts with the findings of his own administration. The Treasury Department stopped short of naming China, the EU or any other country as a currency manipulator in April, in a semi-annual report on foreign-exchange policy. The US hasn’t officially accused another country of currency manipulation since 1994.
The dollar extended its drop to trade at the day’s low as measured by the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index while the euro rose to its highest level in more than a week at $1.1481. The dollar was already under pressure after Bloomberg News reported earlier that Trump complained about interest rate hikes under Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
In the April report, Treasury dialed up its criticism of China, citing lack of progress in rectifying its trade imbalance. The department said that China’s “disproportionate share of the overall US trade deficit” required “enhanced analysis” of whether it’s a manipulator, along with five other countries. A designation requires the US to engage in expedited negotiations with the country.
Trump also said the Federal Reserve should help him in his trade disputes with China, the EU and other nations, asserting that other central banks are assisting their countries. Trump complained to Republican donors on Friday that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell hasn’t kept interest rates as low as he expected.
BDST: 1017 HRS, AUG 21, 2018