Asian economies escape 'manipulator' tag, but expect more pressure on trade

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The two countries' trade imbalance is easing as middle-income Chinese generate a huge demand for imported products, according to both United States and Chinese official data. The provisions of the Customs Bill provide the US government with new monitoring tools and measures to address unfair currency practices.

With Washington pushing a trade agenda aimed at reducing deficits, experts say the most logical option is to lengthen the time period for reviewing currency market interventions from 12 months to several years.

Garrett concluded that the commonly seen headlines in US media about the Chinese economy were usually "profoundly misleading about the win-win nature of the relations between the United States and China", adding that drastic changes in bilateral relations following the election of Trump, once much anticipated, actually didn't happen.

The U.S. report said Asia's fourth-largest economy posted US$28 billion in goods surplus with the U.S. last year, with its current account surplus accounting for 7 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Instead, they continued to talk up sanctions - principally, by encouraging Beijing, North Korea's No.1 trading partner, to impose crippling sanctions on Pyongyang; and influential members of Congress urged worldwide sanctions on Chinese entities doing businesses in the North, in a bid to make the reluctant Chinese leadership more compliant. Both officials were involved in the decision making in the strike in Syria, another departure for this Republican president who previously opposed any such attack.

While McMaster conceded that estimates on North Korea's weapons capabilities "vary widely", even failed missile tests can allow them to improve their programs, he said.

"Look, there are some very good things about a strong dollar, but usually speaking the best thing about it is that it sounds good", he told The Journal. However, if for example he put a 30 percent tariff on imports from Mexico, it is nearly certain that the Mexican peso would drop in value against the U.S. dollar to compensate, which could wipe out most of the impact of the tariff.

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Then came statements that he likes low interest rates and respects US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, after having disparaged Ms Yellen during his campaign, saying she should be ashamed of herself for keeping rates depressed for so long. Such tariffs, though, could be overturned in a review by the World Trade Organization.

"It's very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency".

While China makes only about $15 from each iPhone, each unit is counted as some $600 in China's exports to the US. There is a direct contradiction.

Trump's evolving views on those two world powers have brought the USA back into alignment with former President Barack Obama's pattern of "great power" politics.

With respect to the Japanese currency, although the yen rose 1% against the dollar between January and February, the report said there is no evidence the currency is overvalued.

"It is likely that this launch is a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade so the possibility is high for further provocation in the near future", said Kim Dong-Yub, of Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.