WHITE HOUSE - China has responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's charges China and Russia are manipulating the value of their currencies.
Monday, Trump tweeted, "Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!"
Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018
His charge came just days after the U.S. Treasury Department declined to label China and Russia as currency manipulators in its latest report.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday the messages coming from the United States are confusing, and China will continue to promote the reform of its currency exchange rate mechanism.
Trump said Russia and China are devaluing their currencies amid a possible new round of sanctions against Russia and a simmering trade war with China.
In general, when a country artificially devalues its currency, its exports become cheaper and more competitive in the global marketplace.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration is closely watching China's currency practices. "That's something that the Treasury Department is watching very closely and we're continuing to monitor it," she said Monday.
In a semiannual report titled "Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States" released Friday, the Treasury Department did not designate China as a currency manipulator, but put it as one of the six countries on a monitoring list. The other five countries on the list are Japan, Korea, India, Germany, and Switzerland. Russia is not on the monitoring list.
The Chinese currency, the Renminbi, has appreciated about three percent against the dollar since the beginning of this year, after strengthening by six percent in 2017.
In the past three years, the Federal Reserve raised interest rate six times to a range between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent, and says it expects to raise the rate two or three more times this year.
Usually, when a country raises its interest rates, the value of its currency rises, making its exports more expensive and less competitive. However, higher U.S. interest rates have not raised the value of the dollar.