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Tue May 28, 2019, 05:52 AM

Another grenade in trade wars

By Stephen Bartholomeusz
May 28, 2019 ó 3.30pm

Late last week the US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, issued a press release foreshadowing the release of new rules that would allow the US to impose "countervailing duties" on countries that artificially lower the value of their currencies. Thatís odd, given the US already has a long-established process for identifying currency manipulators.

Countervailing duties are effectively tariffs designed to neutralise the impact of export subsidies, so Ross is essentially threatening to add another layer to the Trump administrationís tariff-led trade wars ....

US Treasury produces biannual reports to Congress on developments in exchange rates to investigate whether or not a country is manipulating its currency. Its most recent report, issued in October last year, found that none of Americaís major trading partners met the departmentís criteria for being labelled a currency manipulator.

There are three legs to the test: the country has to have a $US20 billion-plus ($288 billion) trade surplus with the US; the surplus has to be at least 3 per cent of its gross domestic product; and there has to be persistent one-sided intervention in the currency markets over a 12-month period that totals at least 2 per cent of its GDP ...


Hey! Ya wanna play "Putin says"? Putin says, Impose some new tariffs or I'll have to release the tapes!

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