Incoming President Donald Trump would be looking at a more rigorous evaluation process for the Treasury Department’s currency report to inform the US government which countries manipulate their currencies, a South Korean foreign exchange official said late on Monday.
“When Trump takes office, he is likely to greatly strengthen the rules from current levels,” the official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
“We’re paying close attention to make sure (South Korea) is not added to the list of ‘enhanced analysis’ or ‘currency manipulators’ even if the rules are strengthened.”
South Korea was on a foreign exchange “monitoring list” of countries in the October US Treasury report, along with China, Japan, Germany and Taiwan.
The twice yearly report from the Treasury Department evaluates the currency policies of its major trading partners to assess whether any of the countries are gaining an unfair trade advantage by manipulating their respective currencies.
The South Korean official’s comments underscore the uncertainty that Trump’s Nov. 8 election win has created for policymakers around the world, with financial markets still trying to come to terms with his stance on trade, as well as foreign and domestic policies.
The official added that the Treasury’s next report due in April 2017 is likely to be “a starting point” for the U.S. in pressuring economies that have sizable trade surpluses.