In the first podcast, IMF chief economist Maury Obstfeld, Joseph Gagnon and Alice Fulood joins Keynes and Bown to discuss Trump’s decision to name China as a currency manipulator. Their joint answer is that China is not a currency manipulator. In fact, according to Maury Obstfeld, the decision by the president of USA doesn’t make sense. Some of the solid answers given by the economists are solely against the idea that China is currency manipulator. In their defence, IMF chief economists suggest that it would be noble for the currency governing body which is IMF to take the initiative of naming China as a manipulator of currency. Consequently, his co-partners Joseph Gagnon and Alice Fulood add to the discussion by stating that the US definition of currency manipulation does not fit in the China’s case. As such, the experts make it clear that there is a difference between management of currency and manipulation. Hence, according to the experts, China was managing its currency. The economists, emphasize that the slight devaluation of currency in China should be treated as clear case of a crisis management and not retaliation as the US president puts it.
The experts continue with the discussion and focus specifically on some of the terms used by the United States in defining currency manipulation. In the definition, first, there should be a significant bilateral trade with the country. Secondly, there should be a more that 3% of GDP in the current account surplus. Lastly, there should be persistence in the currency intervention on the market. Essentially, China only fits in the first part of the definition, hence, it does not qualify to be a currency manipulator. Indeed, the economists suggests that trade wars between president Trump and China is just an ugly aggression of domestic economic issues.
In the second podcast, Morris Arnold, Nona Jean and Edward Lazear discuss Trump’s decision to name China as a currency manipulator. The joint answer for the economists is in favor of the president of the United States. In fact, Nona Jean who served as the chairperson of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers insists that the point of discussion should be whether the manipulation affects the US. Nevertheless, Nano admits that the US definition of currency manipulation may not necessarily fit in the China’s case but it depends on the criteria used. Morris Arnold accuses the People’s Bank of China for the mayhem. According to Arnold, China intentionally undervalued the Yuan so that the Chinese exporters can gain unfair advantage. The experts emphasizes that in the past, China has let the Yuan to fluctuate against the dollar. Additionally, the economists state that China has been playing economic games for their own advantage.
In my opinion, the question of whether China is a currency manipulator will most likely depend on who you ask. Both the first and the second podcasts provide a contrasting view concerning Trump’s remarks. A clear look at the first podcast suggests that there are some facts the economists were using to defend their arguments. In the first discussion, it is clear that the US definition of currency manipulation does not fit the China’s case. It is evident given by the fact that the experts in the second podcast admitted that the US definition of manipulation conflicts the case. Essentially, move to name China as a manipulator of currency was unusual since the treasury department made the determination of China’s allegation before a report for the case was due.