Donald Trump admitted on April 12 that he had no plans to honour public commitments he had repeatedly made to deal with the “currency manipulation” he insisted China was practising.
In an interview with the Wall St Journal, he accepted that the Chinese are “not currency manipulators”
In October 2016, Trump promised that on his first day in office (January 20), he would “begin [to] direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.” He had no Secretary of the Treasury on his first day in office – and the immediate insistence of Steven Mnuchin, his nominee for the post, on getting confirmed in late February was that he would not accept Trump’s views on the matter.
Trump’s considered response to professional expertise was to insist the same day that the Chinese are “grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven’t held back. We’ll see what happens.”
Since February, Mnuchin has commissioned the regular Treasury review of currency manipulation, due for publication on April 14. A US Treasury spokesman confirmed that the report will not name China a currency manipulator.
Trump has now honoured just one of his October trade-related promises: to leave the TPP – which did not exist at the time anyway.