Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Trump administration looks to ward off competitive devaluations.

The U.S.-China trade talks continue. There’s a deadline coming up on March 1, when the trade-war timeout is due to end, and U.S. tariffs are to shoot up from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

President Trump, meanwhile, is starting to float the idea that March 1 isn’t a hard date … which suggests there’s progress being made toward a larger deal. It could also be problematic; the president’s chief negotiator, for instance, doesn’t think giving up this key piece of leverage is a great idea.

But! Another bit of news has leaked out: The two sides are working out an agreement that would govern currency manipulation. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. is asking China to keep the value of the yuan stable as part of trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, a move aimed at neutralizing any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter American tariffs, people familiar with the ongoing talks said.

Currency manipulation has been an American trade complaint against China for years, and some have argued that a deal that doesn’t include a currency rule will ultimately prove to be a disappointment.

Well, it looks like it's still on the table. So I guess it's just like the most talkative president in decades says:

"We are asking for everything that anyone has ever suggested. These are not just 'let's sell corn or let's do this' – it's going to be selling corn but a lot of it – a lot more than anyone thought possible."