Trump Vows ‘Level Playing Field’ for U.S., Japan, China Currency

  • Currency valuation "has to be fair and we will make it fair."
  • After initial drop in yen, currency rebounds against dollar

Trump Says U.S. Committed to Alliance With Japan

President Donald Trump vowed Friday that the currencies of the U.S., China and Japan would soon be on "a level playing field," a day after a phone call with China’s president, Xi Jinping.

The two leaders, Trump said in a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, "discussed a lot of subjects. It was a long talk.

"As far as the currency devaluations, I have been complaining about that for a very long time," he said.

Trump promised as a presidential candidate that he would have the Treasury Department declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. Three weeks into his presidency, that has yet to happen. Last week, he accused Japan of manipulating the yen, a charge Abe and other Japanese government officials have denied.

Trump did not explain how the three countries would reach a level playing field, or what he meant by the phrase.

“That’s the only way it’s fair,” Trump said. “That’s the only way you can fairly compete in trade and other things. We will be on that field and we will all be working very hard to do great for our country but it has to be fair and we will make it fair.”

Currency traders initially responded to the comments by selling dollars and buying yen, though the market then reversed direction. The dollar dropped rapidly to below 113 yen on the mention of devaluation, but quickly rebounded, a trader in New York said.

“Certainly the presser is important, but there wasn’t anything really to move the markets,” said Minh Trang, a senior foreign-exchange trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California. Despite the initial gyration, the impact was "nothing meaningful," he said.

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