Trump Accuses China, E.U. of Currency Manipulation

US dollar down on as Trump makes fresh threats vs China

In excerpts of an interview with U.S. television network CNBC aired Thursday, Trump said a strong dollar "puts us at a disadvantage", adding that the Chinese yuan "has been dropping like a rock". The figure is roughly double the value of Chinese products on which Trump has already imposed or threatened to impose tariffs-and almost equal to the total value of goods and services America purchased from China past year. The US imported about $505 billion worth of goods from China past year. But his remarks to CNBC caught financial markets by surprise Friday. The company said its USA wholesale business and worldwide distributor business both saw their sales drop in the last quarter. The International Monetary Fund warned this week that a trade war could lower global growth by as much as 0.5%, or $430 billion, by 2020, with America "especially vulnerable". "We don't like what you're doing'".

The dispute between the world's two largest economies stems from accusations that China steals technology from US companies or forces them to hand over technology to Chinese companies as well as differences over the USA trade deficit with China.

The short video in English with Chinese subtitles seems created to undermine support for the trade dispute from US farmers, key supporters of President Donald Trump, by highlighting the damage tariffs could have on American soybean exports.

Opting for the unusual narrator illustrates how Beijing views soybeans as a powerful tool in its battle with its top trading partner. Chinese exports would also be relatively cheaper, possibly balancing out suggested increases in tariffs by the Trump Administration. That sparked a dollar-for-dollar response from Beijing. But in the CNBC interview, the president said he was seeking to do only what's fair.

"They're not doing what we're doing and we already have somewhat of a disadvantage, although I'm turning that into an advantage", he said.

"We should let those who advocate trade war know that trade war is not something that can be easily won", China Consul General to Los Angeles Zhang Ping said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started the trading of Yuan for the first time after the country secured a Naira-Yuan currency swap deal.

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The trio think increasing tariffs on United States imports so they raise an equal amount of revenue as those placed on Chinese imports is unlikely, acknowledging this would mean "reordering of supply chains which would impose additional costs on the Chinese economy" and "negatively affect China's image as an economy that is opening up and reforming". But such a maneuver could also spur an outflow of capital that Beijing has tried to stanch. On Thursday, it surprised investors by guiding the yuan lower.

A top Federal Reserve official, meanwhile, warned the trade war could hurt the USA economy. Trump's comments point to a willingness to push the envelope as far as the US needs to get Chinese tariff concessions, along with a pledge to stop allegedly stealing American technology. Earlier this year, he used national security as a justification for taxing imported steel and aluminum.

In an interview with CNBC television broadcast Friday, Trump threatened to slap all Chinese imported goods with tariffs, risking an escalation in global trade war tactics.

"Automobiles - that's the 800-pound gorilla", Brookings' Dollar said.

Those and other Trump comments that criticised Federal Reserve interest rate hikes caused the dollar to fall back in the USA on Thursday.

Mr Trump has previously accused China of manipulating its currency to gain an unfair advantage over American businesses, a message he reiterated via Twitter yesterday.

A top Federal Reserve official, meanwhile, warned the trade war could hurt the USA economy. The Fed has raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more increases in 2018. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high inflation.

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