"It was a warning shot at China and Russia about devaluation," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC. "It’s a warning shot to make sure China doesn’t devalue the currency as they have in the past."
In the interview, Mnuchin was asked to clarify Trump's message, because it contradicted a report issued on Friday by the Treasury Department, which said China's currency recently moved in a way that would benefit US exporters.
The US Treasury has again refrained from naming any major trading partners as currency manipulators, as it pursues potential tariffs and negotiations to try to cut the massive trade deficit with China, in a semi-annual report.
On April 6, the US Treasury Department added 38 Russian businesspeople, senior officials, and companies on its sanctions list, in response to Moscow's alleged "malign activity."
Russian lawmakers, in response, have submitted a wide-ranging bill that could freeze crucial exports to the United States.