Negotiators in Washington are asking China to keep the yuan’s value stable as the two countries attempt to strike a lasting trade agreement, sources told Bloomberg, in a bid to keep Beijing from using depreciation to offset the hit from higher tariffs.
Any agreement would be included in a memorandum of understanding currently being drawn up as a precursor to a final trade deal, which will likely have to be approved by President Trump and Xi during an upcoming meeting.
Currency policy, while not usually counted among the top concessions the US is trying to extract from China, has reportedly been tacitly agreed to form part of any deal framework.
The White House has previously declared that any attempt to use yuan depreciation to soften the blow of US tariffs will be met with yet more duties. Late last year Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also looked into labeling China a currency manipulator but was unable to find sufficient legal grounds to do so.