Orlando Sentinel

Treasury removes label from 2 nations

- By Martin Crutsinger

WASHINGTON — Vietnam and Switzerlan­d have been removed from the list of nations labeled by the U.S. as currency manipulato­rs, reversing a decision made by the Trump administra­tion in December.

In its semiannual report to Congress on currency manipulati­on, the first under the Biden administra­tion, the U.S. Treasury Department said Friday that no country currently meets the U.S. criteria as a manipulato­r. It said, however, that Vietnam and Switzerlan­d, as well as Taiwan, will be under enhanced monitoring.

At the higher level of scrutiny that the report called “enhanced engagement,” Vietnam, Switzerlan­d and now Taiwan will be subjected to closer review of their practices as part of laws passed by Congress requiring the administra­tion to call out nations that are engaging in alleged currency manipulati­on to gain unfair trade advantages over the United States.

The Treasury did not designate China as a currency manipulato­r, something the Trump administra­tion had done in 2019 during a tense trade standoff with the world’s second-largest economy. China is included on a list of 11 countries being monitored at a lower level than Vietnam, Switzerlan­d and Taiwan.

Also on the list with China are Japan, South Korea, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico.

Nations that have been alleged by the U.S. to be participat­ing in manipulati­on generally engage in selling their own currency and buying U.S. dollars as a way of lowering the value of their currency while boosting the value of the dollar. Being designated as a currency manipulato­r can mean the imposition of U.S. economic sanctions.

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