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Donald Trump, who during his presidential campaign said he would call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Beijing was not a currency manipulator.

Mr Trump told the newspaper, “they’re not currency manipulators” and said that he changed his stance because China hasn’t been manipulating its currency for months and because doing so could jeopardise his efforts on countering the threat of North Korea and its nuclear missile programs.

Throughout his campaign while pledging to bring manufacturing jobs back to America and threatening a punitive border-adjustment tax on companies that shifted manufacturing to Asia’s largest economy.

Indeed, the US Treasury has China and five other nations on a “watch list” of countries at risk of manipulating foreign exchange and is expected to release its first currency report under the new administration this month.

And even though the president has previously said that the US could tackle North Korea without Xi Jinping’s help, Beijing is thought to exert the most sway over Pyongyang.

Mr Trump on Tuesday had a phone call with Mr Xi to discuss North Korea. He has signalled that his administration would adopt a softer stance on trade in return for China’s co-opreation. On Tuesday, Mr Trump tweeted that

On Tuesday, he tweeted: “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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