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“scouting Undervalued Currencies: Uncovering Hidden Profit Potential In Australia” – WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Wednesday labeled Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators, dealing another blow to trading partners that could be matters for US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming team. can complicate.
In a long-awaited report, the US Treasury has also added India, Thailand and Taiwan to a list of trading partners it says are deliberately devaluing their currencies against the dollar.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced trade flows and widened the US deficit with trading partners, troubling outgoing President Donald Trump, who won office four years ago partly on a promise to narrow the US trade gap Was.
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The Swiss National Bank said it does not manipulate its currency and is “willing to intervene more strongly in the foreign exchange market”. Read more
Vietnam’s central bank said it would work with US authorities to ensure a “harmonious and fair” trade relationship.
“Vietnam’s foreign exchange rate policy has been managed over the years to control inflation, ensure broad stability and not create unfair trade advantages,” the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement.
The manipulator label will increase the pressure on Biden before he takes office, said Per Hammered, SEB’s chief emerging market strategist in Stockholm.
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“You set the agenda and force him (Biden) into positions that he has to get out of,” Hammered said.
A US Treasury official said the information was not given to Biden’s transition team, adding: “They are not involved.”
US Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen may change the findings in her first currency report, which is due in April.
The president-elect’s team has been criticizing US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s other moves, including ending some Federal Reserve pandemic loan programs.
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Mnuchin said in a statement that Treasury “took a strong step today to safeguard economic growth and opportunity for American workers and businesses.”
China, which was labeled a currency manipulator by Mnuchin at the peak of trade tensions in August 2019, was placed on the Treasury’s watch list because of its high trade surplus with the United States.
Mnuchin dropped the designation in January, two days before the world’s two largest economies signed a “Phase 1” trade deal.
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Countries must have a bilateral trade surplus of at least more than $20 billion with the United States, foreign exchange intervention must exceed 2% of GDP and a global current account surplus must exceed 2% of GDP, Which will be called rigging.
Vietnam and Switzerland far exceeded these norms, with foreign exchange interventions at 5% and 14% of GDP, respectively. (Read more see Factbox)
The report states that at least part of Vietnam’s intervention was aimed at pushing the dong down for trade gains, while at least part of Switzerland’s action was aimed at preventing effective balance of payments adjustments from devaluing the Swiss franc. Was meant to push down.
Mark Sobel, a former Treasury and International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, said the manipulative designations were “mechanical” interpretations of limits that ignored subtleties and mitigating circumstances.
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These include an outflow of safe-haven investment into Switzerland’s currency due to the pandemic and a rush of foreign investment into Vietnam in 2019 due to US tariffs on Chinese goods.
The IMF has projected that Vietnam’s current account surplus will fall below the 2% of GDP threshold for 2020.
“They’re missing some of the more obvious cases of harmful currency practices,” Sobel said, adding that Taiwan and Thailand, which narrowly missed the threshold for intervention, “have been heavily intervening for years.”
The Treasury official said the United States would seek talks with Switzerland and Vietnam to bring them below manipulation thresholds and declined to speculate on whether the process could lead to US tariffs on their goods.
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The measures specified in US laws governing the currency report include limiting the offending countries’ access to government procurement contracts and development finance.
Tariffs may be imposed on Vietnam as part of a separate investigation by the US Trade Representative’s office into the causes of the undervalued dong, which could be influenced by the Treasury report. Some business leaders fear Trump may act on the issue before a hearing scheduled for late December, but a source familiar with the matter said that appears unlikely. Read more
Taiwan said its currency policies aimed at stability and hoped to cut its trade surplus with the United States to address US concerns. Read more
Forex strategists said the move may make it a bit difficult for the SNB to intervene, but the easing of the coronavirus pandemic will ease pressure on the franc. Read more
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The Thai baht rose to a seven-year high as investors feared Thailand’s central bank may reduce its baht sales. The dong rose to a two-week high and the Taiwan dollar hit a new 23-year high. EMRG/FRX
The addition of India, Thailand and Taiwan marks the 10th spot on the Treasury watch list, which already includes China, Japan, South Korea, German, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia. Vietnam and Switzerland advanced and Ireland were relegated.
The report noted that India and Singapore had intervened in the foreign exchange market in an “asymmetric manner” but did not meet other requirements to warrant the manipulator label.
Reporting by David Loder; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, John Revill in Zurich, Saikat Chatterjee in London; Editing by Sam Holmes
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