What’s Trump’s Point About Chinese Currency Manipulation?

This is one of those issues that’s difficult to get you mind around because push come to shove it’s impossible to “command” the value of a currency.  If D (in the free market) is worth X and R is worth X the only way you can “command” or “manipulate”” a lower value for R is by paying (at a central bank window) a greater number of Rs for Xs.  But that extra you’re paying has to come from somewhere.  Out of the value of R by printing more of them (i.e. stealing from your currency holders), maybe by using gold which erodes your own reserves or taxing more so that you can send more value to foreigners by paying extra for Ds which in turn impoverishes your own people.  And so to my mind the Chinese goal of lowering price of exports and raising the price of imports and so growing their economy faster is irrelevant because no matter what means they use one way or the other they’re still paying more than they should.  Which I believe means that the Chinese economy would have grown even faster without the “command” or “manipulation” of its currency because “command” and “manipulation” is less efficient than just allowing the free market to work.  Which in turn means that nations attempting to score against us in this manner invariably make us richer or shall we say less poor to some degree.

Or am I missing something?