Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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WASHINGTON: Within hours of being sworn in, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's counterparts from Tokyo to Berlin started telegraphing warnings to him: Please don't call the yen weak.As President Donald Trump waited a few weeks for the U.S. Senate to confirm his Treasury secretary pick, the world watched as he and his advisers talked down the dollar and called out China and Japan for gaming foreign exchange markets.With Mnuchin finally installed, Group of 20 finance chiefs will be looking for clues on whether he will clarify the U.S.' currency policy, a job that traditionally belongs to the Treasury secretary, or if he no longer believes in promises made during the Obama administration to refrain from competitive devaluations.As Treasury secretary, Mnuchin has so far spoken to the U.K'.s Philip Hammond, Japan's Taro Aso and Wolfgang Schaeuble from Germany.Mnuchin has shown signs of taking a more measured approach than Trump and his advisers.In a speech delivered in Berlin half a day after Mnuchin started, Schaeuble said he should be careful about rolling back Wall Street regulation, citing the lessons from the 2007-2008 U.S. financial crisis that spread quickly to Europe.Mnuchin has said he would apply the designation if it's warranted.
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