President Donald Trump claims he is the reason China stopped manipulating its currency.
“As soon as I got elected, they stopped,” the president told CBS News’ John Dickerson on “Face the Nation” Sunday. On the campaign trail, Trump berated China for manipulating its currency to America’s disadvantage, pledging to label China a currency manipulator on day one. Trump has since changed his position, declaring that the Chinese “are not currency manipulators.”
Dickerson attempted to explain to the president “that had been true before,” but Trump defiantly held firm.
“No, not true … I would say that I was the one that got them to stop,” the president said. ” You were the one who got China to stop manipulating their currency?” Dickerson asked, seeking clarification on this issue. “I think so,” Trump replied.
The president explained that the Chinese were currency manipulators, but aren’t now. He then pointed out that Beijing is working with the U.S. to address the crisis in Korea, adding that it would be counterproductive to call China out on trade. “Can you imagine if I say, ‘Hey, by the way, how are you doing with North Korea? Also, we’re going to announce that you’re a currency manipulator tomorrow,'” the president commented.
Trump called China the “world champions” of artificial currency devaluation in an interview with the Financial Times in early April. In February, he told Reuters that the Chinese were the “grand champions” of currency manipulation. After China agreed to cooperate with the U.S. to rein in North Korea, Trump changed his tune.
Trump previously held fast to his position that China was manipulating its currency to the detriment of American manufacturers, even as his own treasury secretary expressed hesitancy.
There is strong evidence that China has not been manipulating its currency for years and has actually been trying to prop up the renminbi (yuan) to prevent rapid depreciation in the wake of certain financial challenges. The Chinese are believed to have stopped manipulating their currency years ago.
China does, however, offer its industries unfair advantages through state subsidies and other practices, but Trump is withholding punishment in hopes that Beijing will resolve the North Korea problem.
“North Korea is maybe more important than trade,” Trump told Dickerson, “If China can help us with North Korea and can solve that problem, that is worth making not as good a trade deal for the United States.”
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