WASHINGTON: The US Treasury rolled back a Trump-era accusation that Switzerland and Vietnam were manipulating their exchange rates to gain a competitive trade advantage, saying on Friday there was “insufficient evidence” for the charge.
While Treasury withdrew the manipulator label, the two countries continue to meet the criteria for scrutiny of their currency policies, and were joined by Taiwan, according to the semi-annual report to Congress.
China also remains on Treasury’s “Monitoring List,” after being removed from the ranks of currency manipulators in January 2020, just before then-president Donald Trump signed an initial trade pact with Beijing.
Beijing has long been a target of scrutiny under the report, and Washington has frequently accused the government of keeping the exchange rate artificially low, using its massive stockpile of US dollars. In the latest report, “Treasury urged China to improve transparency regarding its foreign exchange intervention activities” and policies.
The watch list also includes Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, as well as Ireland and Mexico, which were added to the December list.
“Treasury is working tirelessly to address efforts by foreign economies to artificially manipulate their currency values that put American workers at an unfair disadvantage,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Congress requires the twice-yearly analysis to single out countries that might be actively trying to keep their currencies weaker against the US dollar.