WASHINGTON - The US Treasury again shied away from labeling China a currency manipulator on Tuesday, but it rapped the country for not moving quickly enough on exchange rate reforms.
The United States also chided Japan for stepping into the currency market to stem the yen's rise, and urged South Korea to use such interventions sparingly.
Some US politicians have argued that China has gained an unfair competitive edge in global markets by keeping the yuan artificially low to boost exports, and pressure has mounted in Congress for President Barack Obama to punish China.
But the administration prefers to tread softly and use diplomacy. The US Treasury, in a semi-annual report, as usual said that statutes covering a designation of currency manipulator "have not been met with respect to China."
It repeated its standard line that appreciation in the yuan has been too slow, calling it "insufficient."