White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said President Donald Trump’s reversal in announcing that China is not a currency manipulator was “not a quid pro quo” in exchange for the country’s cooperation in responding to North Korea.
“Number one, they haven’t been manipulating their currency since he’s been in office. That’s a fact,” Spicer said during his daily briefing. “Number two is, I think the President’s tweet said clearly, to do so at this time would not be prudent.”
Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017
“It’s not a quid pro quo,” Spicer said. “It’s just saying that in the middle of them taking very positive signs to help us address the situation in North Korea, that to label them a currency manipulator I don’t think would be very productive.”
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump reversed position from one of his more consistent campaign promises and said the Treasury Department would not label China a currency manipulator.
He defended the flip-flop to the Journal by saying that China has not devalued its currency for months, though experts say that China has been doing the opposite and shoring up the renminbi’s value in recent years.