U.S. labels Switzerland, Vietnam currency cheats

China is a more familiar target, but now the U.S. Treasury has Switzerland in its sights.

On Wednesday (December 16) Washington labelled the country as a currency manipulator.

That means it’s suspected of deliberately devaluing its currency against the dollar to win advantage.

Vietnam was also added to the list.

The action comes as the global slowdown skews trade flows, and widens U.S. deficits with trading partners.

That’s an irritant for President Donald Trump, who came to office promising to narrow trade gaps.

To be labeled a manipulator, countries must have at least a 20 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.

They also have to have a record of significant intervention in currency markets.

The Treasury refused to say whether the two countries would face any sanctions as a result of the designation.

But it also extended the list of places it was keeping a close eye on as potential manipulators.

Taiwan, Thailand and India went on that list, joining China, Japan, Germany and others.

Switzerland at least seems undaunted.

The Swiss National Bank denied manipulating the country’s franc currency, and said it would continue its monetary approach unchanged.

Even so, the franc jumped to five-year highs against the dollar after Wednesday's news.