In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made a big point of beating up on China for its "currency manipulation." He said that China was ripping off the United States because of its large trade surplus with the U.S., which had cost us millions of manufacturing jobs.

Trump said the trade deficit was due to the fact that our "stupid" trade negotiators allowed China to get away with depressing the value of the yuan against the dollar. This makes Chinese goods relatively cheaper in world markets, giving them a competitive advantage. Trump promised to put an end to this currency manipulation. 

Last month, Trump met with China's President Xi Jinping. According to his own account, the topic of currency values did not come up. Trump said that he got along very well with President Xi and looked forward to his assistance in dealing with North Korea. He didn't want to spoil the relationship by bringing up currency.

The Washington Post today reported on a trade deal the Trump administration worked out with China. The piece says that the deal will open the door for beef exports to China. It also will remove obstacles that prevented U.S. financial services companies (e.g. Goldman Sachs) from operating in China. This agreement is undoubtedly good news for beef exporters, even if the impact is exaggerated (it might trivially raise the price of U.S. beef) and it surely is good news for the financial industry, but it doesn't do anything for the manufacturing workers who lost their jobs in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania.