President Donald Trump has said that his administration will not label China as a currency manipulator, backtracking from his key campaign promise.
He also left open the possibility of re-nominating Janet Yellen as the head of Federal Reserves, despite constant criticism of her in the past.
The latest comments came days after President Trump met China’s President Xi Jinping.
China has been accused of purposely devaluing its Yuan to make its exports more competitive with U.S. goods.
Before the election, Mr. Trump labeled this as “raping” the U.S. and promised that he’d label China a currency manipulator after assuming office.
If President Trump had taken that course, it would have triggered talks between the two countries and might have potentially led to U.S. sanctions – which would have had prompted retaliation.
But President Trump softened his stance in an interview with the Wall Street Journal saying China had not been a currency manipulator for some time and it has been trying to prevent further weakening.
“I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me. [It is] very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency.”
President Trump had been extremely critical of Ms. Yellen for keeping Fed’s interest rate low, which he thinks “had hurt savers.” He had also indicated that he would not nominate her for a second term when her current term ends in February 2018.
But Wednesday’s interview was a different story; he said that he now liked “a low-interest rate policy” and “respects” the Fed’s chair.
He also stated that Ms. Yellen would not be “toast” when her current term ends, but later added, “It’s very early.”
President Trump also said that the administration was “very close” to filling three vacancies on the Fed’s board.