US-China relationship needs to work: Eurasia Group

Thursday, 9 Feb 2017

    12:23 AM ET

Donald Trump has a reputation for doing as president what he said he'd do when he was a candidate, but there's one promise he has conspicuously dropped.

Trump during the campaign called China "the single greatest currency manipulator that's ever been on this planet," and said he would make labeling China a manipulator a first-day priority. He also said he would slap a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports to the United States in retaliation.

More than three weeks into his presidency, Trump hasn't taken any steps against China. Then late Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House is instead considering a proposal that would change what it means to be a currency manipulator. The new definition, as reported by the Journal, would make it possible for Trump to avoid singling out — and angering — a country whose economy is fundamentally intertwined with the United States.

"It shows that either Trump can't label China a currency manipulator, or doesn't want to," said Jacob Shapiro, director of analysis at Geopolitical Futures, an online publication that analyzes and forecasts the course of global events.

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