Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday praised China for supporting its currency at a time when Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war.

“Their currency is more of a controlled currency than other markets that are free access,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “But if they go in and support their currency, that is not currency manipulation.”

Sec. Mnuchin: Don’t want to lose trade gains to currency devaluation from CNBC.

“If they [China] let their currency weaken, either for structural reasons or for actual manipulation, that is something that is manipulation,” he added in the interview on “Squawk Box.”

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