U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday apparently reversed his position on China as a currency manipulator, tweeting he wouldn’t use the term as long as Beijing helps rein in North Korea.
The comment came just hours after Pyongyang’s failed missile test and barely more than a week after Trump met face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump spent much of the presidential campaign chastising China for currency manipulation and other actions he said hurt the U.S. economy.
"I am going to instruct my treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator," he said Aug. 24. "Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States will face tariffs to stop the cheating."
But in its exchange rate report to Congress last week, Treasury declined to label China a currency manipulator, saying the trade deficit with China is just business.
Redditors, however, are not as sanguine, pointing up the number of tweets Trump has issued slamming the People’s Republic, and labeling Trump a hypocrite and liar.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump blamed the trade imbalance with China on a too-strong dollar.
“I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me. But that’s hurting—that will hurt ultimately,” he said. “Look, there’s some very good things about a strong dollar, but usually speaking the best thing about it is that it sounds good.
“It’s very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency.”
Trump said China stopped manipulating its currency months ago and labeling Beijing a currency manipulator now would jeopardize efforts to contain North Korea.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump has it backwards.
In a statement on Facebook, Schumer called Trump’s about face “unfortunate.”
“While they’re not manipulating their currency at the moment because it doesn’t suit their economic needs, make no mistake about it. As soon as the time turns, they will,” Schumer said.