In 2010 an undervalued renminbi was a significant drag on advanced economies, including the United States. Since then, however, two big things have happened: relatively high inflation in China, and some appreciation of the renminbi against the dollar. As a result, the real exchange rate of China against the United States (based on consumer prices), has appreciated significantly:
At the same time. China’s surplus has come way down:
So this is an odd time to be making confrontation over China’s currency a centerpiece of your economic policy — unless, of course, it’s just bluster aimed at making voters think you’re tough.