US brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list in an annual report designed to halt countries from manipulating their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

It marked the first time that the United States has labeled another country as a currency manipulator since August 2019 when it called out China at a time when the world’s two largest economies were locked in tense trade negotiations.

The Trump administration removed the designation from China in January after the two nations had achieved trade agreements aimed at lowering China’s huge trade surplus with the United States.

The Treasury report said that Vietnam and Switzerland were the only two countries that met all three criteria for being named a currency manipulator. The designation will trigger special negotiations over the next year, and if they are not successful in resolving the issue, the United States can move forward to impose economic sanctions on Vietnam and Switzerland.

In addition to China, the other countries put on a monitoring list were Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and India. Taiwan, Thailand and India were put on the watch list this year while the other countries were already on the watch list issued with the last report in January.