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Northeast Asian nations undertake efforts to avoid being named 'currency manipulator', says Scotiabank
China, Japan and Korea and another three major trading partners of the U.S. were placed on the Monitoring List in the semi-annual report on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies released by U.S. Treasury Department on October 14, 2016. It is to be noted that Japan and Korea have stepped up efforts to reduce their trade surplus with the U.S. to avoid being named a currency manipulator.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with United States President Donald Trump in Washington last Friday followed by a weekend stay at Trump’s Mar-aLago retreat in Florida. Abe pledged Japan would help create U.S. jobs.
Further, Korea’s Finance Ministry Director General Hwang Kun-il said last Thursday that the authorities will maintain their stance of taking limited steps in the FX market when currency markets are volatile in the form of a "smoothing operation". He also said Korea plans to increase energy imports from US, including shale gas, to help reduce current-account surplus with the US.
Lastly, China may roll out measures aimed at shrinking its current surplus with the US that is by far the largest (47 percent of total in 2016) among the major U.S. trading partners. The US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke by phone Thursday evening.