U.S.-China trade talks must cover currency, U.S. Treasury chief says
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he told China’s central bank chief that currency issues need to be part of any further U.S.-China trade talks and expressed his concerns about the yuan’s recent weakness, Reuters reports.
Mnuchin also told Reuters in an interview that China needs to identify concrete “action items” to rebalance the two countries’ trade relationship before talks to resolve their disputes can resume.
The U.S. Treasury chief and People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang extensively discussed currency issues on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
“I expressed my concern about the weakness in the (yuan) currency and that as part of any trade discussions, currency has to be part of the discussion,” Mnuchin said of the meeting.
The two senior officials talked about market fundamentals that have driven the yuan down against the dollar, Mnuchin said, adding: “I think we had a productive explanation from his standpoint on those issues.”
Yi told an investment audience that China’s monetary policy was on an opposite cycle to that of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has been raising rates amid a strong economy, people who attended the closed-door session said.