KUALA LUMPUR— Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today the United States (US) should not take an aggressive stance with its trade partners, which includes Malaysia.
He said the superpower’s new economic policies had far reaching consequence that made other countries suffer from sanctions even if they followed international treaty rules under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“I hope US could revert back and come back to multilateralism, through discussions. Let’s not be foes but friends,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
“We will ensure that Malaysia is removed from the list and not let our economic performance plummet. We are not a currency manipulator, as we’ve always played by all the rules by WTO or any other international standards. As I’ve said, recognition of our good performance by the current government will ensure sustainable development without compromising the global economy,” he said.
Last May, The US Treasury added Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam to a watchlist for currency manipulation, putting their foreign-exchange policies under scrutiny.
Countries with a current-account surplus with the US equivalent to 2 per cent of gross-domestic product (GDP) are now eligible for the list, down from 3 per cent. Other thresholds include persistent intervention in markets for a nation’s currency, and a trade surplus of at least US$20 billion (RM83.5 billion).
Countries that meet two of the three criteria are placed on the watchlist, which does not automatically land them sanctions, but would affect businesses and markets in both countries.
Malaysia was cited for its bilateral trade surplus with the US of US$27 billion last year and its current account surplus of 2.1 per cent of GDP.