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Currency manipulation rule to be included in any U.S.-Japan trade talk agreement, treasury secretary says

AFP-JIJI

With U.S.-Japan trade talks set to begin Monday in Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday any agreement will include a requirement to refrain from manipulating currencies to gain an advantage in international trade.

But he said there is no arbitrary deadline for completing the talks.

The U.S. priority is that countries “don’t in any way manipulate their currency for purposes of competitive advantages,” Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is set to hold two days of talks with economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday and Tuesday.

Mnuchin said the talks will focus on a “broad agenda.”

The U.S. has long argued that China kept its currency artificially low to make its exports cheaper, and negotiators have insisted on a provision on exchange rates in the ongoing trade talks with Beijing.

And a clause was included in the revised free trade pact with Mexico and Canada, dubbed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“I think we’ll want to make sure whatever trade agreements there are, that there are currency provisions that reflect that in the agreement similar to USMCA and as we’ve alluded to in our China discussions,” Mnuchin said Saturday.

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