On April 14, 2017, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued its Report to Congress on Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. The Report reviews developments in international economic and exchange rate policies and is submitted pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (the “1988 Act”), 22 U.S.C. § 5305, and Section 701 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (the “2015 Act”), 19 U.S.C. § 4421. Treasury has established thresholds for the three criteria specified in the 2015 Act that determine whether enhanced analysis is necessary: (1) a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States is one that is at least $20 billion; (2) a material current account surplus is one that is at least 3 percent of GDP; and (3) persistent, one-sided intervention occurs when net purchases of foreign currency are conducted repeatedly and total at least 2 percent of an economy’s GDP over a 12 month period.
Treasury focused in this Report on trade in goods, not including services, because of data limitations. The United States has a surplus in services trade with many economies in this report including Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the UK. Taking into account services trade would reduce the bilateral trade surplus of these economies with the United States.
Pursuant to the 2015 Act, Treasury has found that no major trading partner met all three criteria for the current reporting period.
Similarly, based on the analysis in this Report, Treasury also concluded that no major trading partner of the United States met the standards identified in Section 3004 of the 1988 Act for currency manipulation in the second half of 2016.
An economy meeting two of the three criteria in the 2015 Act will be placed on the Monitoring List. For this Report, Treasury has placed the following countries on the Monitoring List: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and Switzerland.