The Trump administration is assessing the scope of its power to penalize countries whose currencies it believes are undervalued, according to two people with direct knowledge of the review, an effort to fulfill the president’s campaign pledge to crack down on what he frequently called unfair trade.
President Donald Trump promised to label China as a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency, but has not done so. That process is actually directed by the Treasury Department, which is not slated to release its official analysis of international currency until later this spring. Even then, many analysts are skeptical that the administration would take the aggressive step of slapping China with such a label.
In the meantime, the administration’s economic team is looking at alternative strategies, said the two people, both of whom work within the administration. The effort includes not only Treasury, but also the Commerce Department, National Economic Council, National Trade Council and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, one of the officials said.