US Treasury secretary remains concerned about weak China currency

Mike Pence warned that China had abandoned “the pathway to freedom”

Mike Pence warned that China had abandoned “the pathway to freedom”

Yi told an investment audience on Thursday that China's monetary policy was on an opposite cycle to that of the Federal Reserve, which has been raising rates amid a strong economy, people who attended the closed-door session said.

"I expressed my concern about the weakness in the (yuan) currency and that as part of any trade discussions, currency has to be part of the discussion", Mnuchin said of the meeting. "And I have a lot more to do if I want to do it and I don't want to do but they have to come to the table".

In 2017, nine percent of payments for supplies from Russia to China were made in rubles; Russian companies paid 15 percent of Chinese imports in renminbi (yuan). "There is no deadline".

China's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly as companies ramped up shipments before stiffer USA duties go into effect, but factory surveys have shown export orders have been shrinking for several months.

"We're going to make sure currency is definitely part of these discussions".

China posted a larger trade surplus of $31.69 billion for the month.

However, he declined to comment on whether the US Treasury would declare Beijing a "currency manipulator" in a report due out next week. These would be the first direct talks since August, but with both sides digging in their heels, there are few hopes the leaders can secure a major breakthrough.

Washington has long argued that China keeps its currency artificially low to make its exports more competitive but in recent years the yuan or renminbi (RMB) has strengthened and is viewed by economists as more in line with fundamentals.

China has responded by imposing counter tariffs, which the Trump administration alleges show political interference by targeting products from key states in next month's congressional elections.

The Treasury Department is expected to issue next week its twice-a-year report on whether China or any other country is manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages.

China's trade surplus with the United States widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the USA market rose by 13 percent over a year earlier despite a worsening tariff war.

Beijing was included on the watch list because the surplus in goods trade made up a significant part of the United States total trade deficit. Imports of Russian goods surged by around 40 percent to $42 billion, said the customs service. That would approach the $1.2 trillion U.S. -Canada-Mexico trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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