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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the point man on currency manipulation issues (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Trump's promise to label China a currency manipulator didn't happen on day one, and potentially won't happen at all. Instead the Trump Administration is considering designating the practice of currency manipulation as an "unfair subsidy when employed by any country," The Wall Street Journal reports.

The truth about this: It is already the position of the government that currency manipulation is bad, so this would take a symbolic act and make it even more symbolic. The labeling of a country as a currency manipulator simply requires the Administration to begin negotiations with that country on the subject, and subsequently bring action against the country at the International Monetary Fund if no remedies are made.

What's next: The Journal writes that after the move, "U.S. companies would then be in a position to bring anti subsidy actions themselves to the U.S. Commerce Department against China or other countries." But if the Trump Administration is reluctant to elevate these complaints, it's difficult to see how they will materially affect trade balances.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Representatives from all branches of the military escort the 46th president to the White House.