Article: Yellen Plans to Spare China From Currency Manipulator Label

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Yellen Plans to Spare China From Currency Manipulator Label

Saleha Mohsin, 12 April 2021

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will decline to name China as a currency manipulator in her first semiannual foreign-exchange report, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that allows the U.S. to sidestep a fresh clash with Beijing.

The report, which is not yet finalized, is due on Thursday, although it is unclear when the department will release it. During the Trump era, the Treasury Department was accused of politicizing the report after it abruptly designated China a manipulator in mid-2019 outside its usual release schedule, only to lift the label five months later to win concessions in a trade deal.

A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment. The offshore yuan extended its intraday gain slightly following the news, strengthening around 0.2% to touch a new high for the day of around 6.5462 per dollar.

Yellen’s team has also discussed the possibility of reversing a 2019 Trump administration move to lower thresholds for determining whether an economy is manipulating its currency for competitive advantage, the people said on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. A rollback could lead to the agency cutting the number of nations it scrutinizes by nearly half, they said.

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