With the Trump administration having gone radio silent in recent weeks on the issue of currency manipulation and whether it sees the dollar, or other currencies, as under- or over-valued, there was a notable if vague update from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who spoke to the IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday and told her that he expects the IMF to provide "frank and candid" analysis of exchange rate policies.
There was no elaboration of what the apriori US stance was coming into the conversation.
The spokesperson said that in a phone call with Lagarde, Mnuchin also "noted the importance that the administration places on boosting economic growth and jobs in the United States, and looked forward to robust IMF economic policy advice on its member countries and tackling global imbalances."
The readout from the a Treasury Spokesperson of Secretary Mnuchin’s Call with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde is below:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone today with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In his conversation with Madame Lagarde, Secretary Mnuchin welcomed the key role the IMF plays in promoting global economic growth and stability and in preventing and responding to economic crisis. He noted the importance the Administration places on boosting economic growth and jobs in the United States, and looked forward to robust IMF economic policy advice on its member countries and tackling global imbalances. Secretary Mnuchin also underscored his expectation that the IMF provide frank and candid analysis of the exchange rate policies of IMF member countries.
Needless to say, a full transcript of the conversation would have been far more useful for all those wondering if the dollar is set to continue its recent growth spurt or if Mnuchin hinted that Trump would be happier with a lower dollar going forward.