(Yicai Global) Feb. 24 -- US President Donald Trump called the Chinese "grand champions" of currency manipulation in an interview a few hours after the new US Treasury secretary pledged to analyze China's foreign exchange policy practices in a more systematic manner.
Although Trump had not delivered on his campaign commitment to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, he has not "held back," he told Reuters on Feb. 23.
"Well they, I think they're grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven't held back," said Trump, "We'll see what happens."
During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently accused China of keeping the exchange rate of yuan against the dollar low to make its export commodities cheaper, "stealing" American manufacturing posts.
The US Treasury secretary, Stephen Mnuchin, told CNBC on Feb. 23 that he was not ready to make judgments on China's currency practices.
When asked if the US Treasury was planning to deem China a currency manipulator soon, Mnuchin said he would follow the regular process to analyze the currency habits of major trading partners of the US. The Treasury is required to submit a report on other countries' currency practices on April 15 and Oct. 15 every year.
The International Monetary Fund said last year that the yuan's exchange rate was basically in line with economic fundamentals. The US Treasury report last October said that China's external imbalances had improved somewhat.