US President Donald Trump appears to have had an epiphany, perhaps brought on by some chocolate cake, declaring that he will not label China as a currency manipulator after all.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly promised to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. To explain his sudden change of heart on the issue, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that taking the step could wreck his master plan to get China to handle the North Korea crisis and anyway the Chinese government had not been manipulating its currency for months.
“They’re not currency manipulators,” Trump said in the interview.
Two months ago, Trump called China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation, and just last week he said they were the “world champions.”
As always, there’s a relevant Trump tweet for the occasion.
Once again Obama fails to classify China as a currency manipulator. He just helped China steal even more jobs and money from us.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2012
However, Trump’s flip-flop now brings him in line with his own cabinet members, experts and reality on the issue. Previously, Trump had long charged Beijing with artificially keeping the value of the renminbi low in order to hurt American manufacturers. Trump had stuck with this conviction, even as data, the International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury Department said that it was false with most experts believing that China is in fact manipulating the yuan up, not down.
Of course, Trump’s about-face on China’s currency manipulation follows his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida where the two bonded while eating “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” and listening to Trump’s granddaughter sing “Mo Li Hua.”
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