January 25, 2021

Vietnamese, China Currency Manipulation In The News

As The Wall Street Journal reported, on Friday, January 15, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a report declaring that Vietnam had undervalued its currency since 2016 – but refraining from taking any action, including imposing retaliatory duties, to address the concern.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “Unfair acts, policies and practices that contribute to currency undervaluation harm U.S. workers and businesses, and need to be addressed … I hope that the United States and Vietnam can find a path for addressing our concerns.”

The decision also came after a December report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that also named Vietnam a currency manipulator.

Could the brand new Biden administration take another approach? It is so far unclear, but Janet Yellen, President Biden’s nominee to be U.S. Treasury secretary was asked in her confirmation hearing last week what she thinks about “China’s economic cheating.” Yellen pledged that, if confirmed, she would be prepared to use a “full array of tools to address” those China’s dubious trade practices, including currency manipulation.

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