Article: Swiss central bank chief rejects ‘currency manipulator’ label from the U.S.

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Swiss central bank chief rejects ‘currency manipulator’ label from the U.S.

Elliot Smith, 17 December 2020

LONDON — Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan has rejected a U.S. decision to label Switzerland a “currency manipulator.”

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday added Switzerland to a list of nations it suspects of deliberately devaluing their currencies against the dollar.

Jordan told CNBC on Thursday that neither the SNB nor Switzerland itself has artificially manipulated the value of the Swiss franc.

“Our monetary policy is necessary, it is legitimate, and we have a very low inflation rate — it is even negative at this moment — so we have to fight this deflation, and the Swiss franc is very strong, so it appreciated in nominal terms over the last 12 years enormously, both vis-a-vis the euro and vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar,” he said.

The Swiss National Bank has long maintained that it is willing to intervene more robustly in foreign exchange markets, and has staunchly denied manipulating the Swiss franc. The U.S. Treasury said Switzerland’s interventions totaled 14% of gross domestic product.

To be labeled a manipulator, countries must have a $20 billion-plus bilateral trade surplus with the U.S., foreign currency intervention exceeding 2% of GDP and a global current account surplus higher than 2% of GDP.

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