US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with China PBoC Governor Yi Gang on the sidelines of the IMF summit in Indonesia. Mnuchin said after the meeting that “I expressed my concern about the weakness in the (yuan) currency and that as part of any trade discussions, currency has to be part of the discussion. And he added that “we had a productive explanation from his standpoint on those issues” regarding Yuan’s depreciation against Dollar. It’s reported that Yi told people in a closed-door session that China’s monetary policy was on an opposite cycle to that of the US.
Mnuchin declined to comment on whether China would be named a currency manipulator in the upcoming Treasury report. But he emphasized that “The currency report is something we report to Congress. It is done pursuant to two separate pieces of legislation. This is not a political document.”
But on trade, Mnuchin insisted that”It has to be that we can reach an agreement on action items that can rebalance the relationship. We’ve made it clear that if they have real action items that they want to discuss that we will listen.”
On Fed, Mnuchin said “The president likes low interest rates. The president is concerned about the Fed raising interest rates too much and slowing down the economy and those are obviously natural concerns.” Meanwhile he called this week’s stock market rout as a ” natural correction after the markets were up a lot”. And according to Mnuchin, it’s not related to high interest rates and Fed policy and “there’s really no new information in the market on the Fed or on trade for that matter.”