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Steven Mnuchin, right, smiles next to U.S. President Donald Trump after being sworn in as Treasury Secretary in Washington on Feb. 13.   © Reuters

'Currency manipulator' is a serious charge in an intertwined world

With US and Chinese economies increasingly linked, labels matter

TAKESHI KAWANAMI, Nikkei staff writer | China

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump swiftly abandoned his campaign pledge to instruct the Treasury Department to label China a "currency manipulator" on the day of his inauguration Jan. 20. The U.S. annual merchandise trade deficit now surpasses $700 billion, and the goods deficit with China alone makes up approximately 50% of that total.

Although Trump blamed this trade gap on China manipulating its currency to keep it artificially low, he has become more moderate in dealing with China since taking office.

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