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Governor of Taiwan's Central Bank downplays risk of currency manipulator label

US Treasury report expected in April

Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long addresses legislators Thursday. 

Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long addresses legislators Thursday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The risk of Taiwan being listed as a currency manipulator by the United States next month has fallen, Central Bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said Thursday (March 10).

The banker made the statement after announcing that Taiwan’s net official purchases of foreign currency fell to US$9.12 billion (NT$258.29 billion) in 2021 from US$39.1 billion the previous year, CNA reported. As a result, the country no longer meets the currency manipulator criterion of persistently purchasing foreign currencies worth more than 2% of its GDP, Yang said.

He pointed out that most of the currency purchases of 2021 occurred during the first half of the year and accounted for US$8.73 billion, with the July-December period seeing only US$390 million of purchases. According to Yang, Taiwan still meets the two other criteria for a currency manipulation designation: namely a material trade surplus exceeding 2% of its GDP and a trade surplus with the U.S. of more than US$15 billion per year.

He said the government would continue to discuss the issue with the U.S. Treasury Department in the run-up to the latter’s currency manipulators report in April.