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US Treasury Secretary ‘Won’t Lose Any Sleep’ Over China Selling US Bonds

13 October, 2018, 05:23 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Trump Chinese lived too well for too long

President Donald Trump regularly cites the United States' massive trade deficit with China as a primary justification for his decision to implement tariffs.

On Wednesday, FBI director Christopher Wray said that China represents the "broadest, most complicated, most long-term" threat to the United States and that it is waging a massive influence campaign over American voters ahead of the November midterm elections. The Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.9 per cent to 2,606.91. Later, both stock indexes gave up much of their gains.

Commenting on this week's plunge in stock markets, Mnuchin called it a "natural correction", CNBC reported. They also expressed concern about use of the technology in weapons.

Mnuchin would not say what the report would reveal, but in the past Treasury has placed China on a watch-list but said it did not meet the requirements to be labeled a currency manipulator. The US dollar has strengthened against a range of currencies this year as American interest rates have risen.

Beijing's exports have been robustly growing all year in the face of rising tariffs and increasing uncertainty over relations with Washington.

He blamed previous US presidents for allowing China to pursue unfair trade practices and said he had to tell Beijing, "It's over".

Mnuchin said that investors have deftly handled supply from the unwinding of the Fed's financial crisis-era balance sheet.

Customs data on Friday showed growth in Chinese imports of USA goods decelerated to 9 percent over a year earlier.

"As it relates to today, there was nothing that specifically occurred today", Mnuchin said.

September marked the second straight record Chinese monthly trade surplus with the United States after August's $31 billion.

Washington, Europe and other trading partners complain those violate Beijing's free-trade commitments and USA officials worry they might erode American industrial leadership. That's significantly higher than the $196 billion recorded between January and September a year ago. Export numbers have been buoyed by producers rushing to fill orders before American tariffs rose.

Mnuchin said he expressed his concerns over the weakness of Asian nation's currency and reiterated the US push for market reforms as well as opening up trade between the two countries.

The currency has slid more than 9 percent against the dollar in the last six months, raising speculation that China has been deliberately weakening its currency as tensions with the US escalate. That prompted suggestions Beijing might weaken the exchange rate to help exporters.

But it was still too early to see the impact of the tariffs, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy. The central bank has tightened controls on currency trading to prevent further declines.

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