U.S. TO URGE G-20 AGAINST COM­PET­I­TIVE DEVALUATIONS

Mnuchin likely to re­it­er­ate need to level play­ing field for Amer­i­can firms, work­ers

New Straits Times - - Business World -

WASH­ING­TON

UNITED States Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin will urge Group of 20 (G-20) part­ners at a meet­ing this week to fol­low through on their com­mit­ment to re­frain from com­pet­i­tive cur­rency devaluations, said a se­nior Trea­sury of­fi­cial.

World fi­nance chiefs will be keenly watch­ing Mnuchin dur­ing his in­ter­na­tional de­but at the G-20 gath­er­ing to see if he’ll shift gears on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign threats to get tough on trade cheats and cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tors.

The spot­light will be on Mnuchin’s mes­sag­ing about the US re­ac­tion to cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion to gain an edge in trade.

Mnuchin will stress the im­por­tance of im­ple­ment­ing the ex­ist­ing G-20 cur­rency pact and re­it­er­ate the need to level the play­ing field for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies and work­ers, said a se­nior Trea­sury of­fi­cial, here, on Mon­day.

The pledge to re­frain from us­ing mon­e­tary pol­icy to cheapen cur­ren­cies — a main­stay of G-20 state­ments in re­cent years — takes on new rel­e­vance amid US claims against China, Ger­many and oth­ers.

So far in his pres­i­dency, Trump hasn’t fol­lowed through on a cam­paign prom­ise to la­bel China a cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tor im­me­di­ately af­ter tak­ing of­fice.

Mnuchin has said he will use a reg­u­lar Trea­sury re­view sched­uled for next month to ex­am­ine for­eign cur­rency prac­tices.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has warned Trump that a pro­posed tax over­haul could spark re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures, in­clud­ing higher tar­iffs for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to Der Spiegel mag­a­zine.

She post­poned un­til Fri­day a trip to Wash­ing­ton to meet Trump be­cause of a win­ter storm ex­pected yes­ter­day.

Mnuchin is sched­uled to meet Ger­man Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schaeu­ble in Ber­lin be­fore head­ing to the G-20 meet­ing of fi­nance min­is­ters and cen­tral bankers from March 17-18 in Baden-Baden, Ger­many. Bloomberg

REUTERS PIC

Unites States Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury Steven Mnuchin has said he will use a reg­u­lar Trea­sury re­view sched­uled for next month to ex­am­ine for­eign cur­rency prac­tices.

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