US might put Taiwan on currency manipulation watchlist

Taiwan meets two out of three conditions: Central Bank governor

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Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long speaking at the Legislative Yuan Thursday March 12 

Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long speaking at the Legislative Yuan Thursday March 12  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States might put Taiwan on its watchlist for currency manipulators next month under current conditions, Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) told lawmakers Thursday (March 12).

Last January, Taiwan did not appear on that list, though Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, and Italy did, CNA reported. Washington also ended its designation of China as a currency manipulator and put it on the watchlist as well.

However, when a new list is published in April, Taiwan could well feature on it because of three conditions set by the U.S., according to Yang. A trade surplus with the U.S. of at least US$20 billion (NT$602 billion) and a current account surplus higher than 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product were the two conditions already met by Taiwan, he said.

The third criterion is persistent intervention in the currency markets, but Yang estimated that fulfilling two conditions might already be sufficient reason for the Trump Administration to put Taiwan on the list. The central banker said that the relevant authorities were well aware of the likelihood of such a move and were preparing a response, CNA reported.