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Trump shreds economic playbook with strong USA dollar, Fed jabs

21 July 2018

In the same interview, taped Thursday at the White House, Trump broke with a long-standing tradition at the White House and voiced displeasure about recent actions at the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Mr Trump said increased rates had resulted in a stronger dollar which put the United States at a disadvantage compared with places where central banks are holding interest rates steady.

In an interview with CNBC broadcast Friday, President Trump said he's ready to escalate the trade war with China by slapping tariffs on every single thing the country exports to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the president continues to fight for a level playing field with America's trading partners - but not everyone agrees with his aggressive approach to free and fair trade.

Trump said he is doing this in the national interest. Its central bank is allowing China's tightly controlled currency to drift lower against the dollar, a move that could help Chinese exporters.

President Donald Trump on Friday said monetary-policy tightening "hurts all that we have done", suggesting a belief that higher borrowing costs undermine the economy's gains.

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Trump has imposed tariffs on goods from several countries to try to get better trade terms for the United States.

The Fed hiked interest rates twice this year, and plans to raise them two more times by the end of 2018.

That would equal the amount of annual Chinese exports to the US for the year.

In February, Jerome Powell, Trump's hand-picked choice, became Fed chairperson. "But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best", Trump said.

Presidents have historically avoided criticizing the Fed, which is created to be independent from political interference.

Trump criticized the USA central bank in comments aired Thursday, saying its course of interest rate increases counteracted his efforts at growing the economy.

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U.S. central bankers project two more interest rate increases this year and another three in 2019. While the Fed has raised rates, they remain low on a historical basis. In addition to Trump's comments to CNBC, Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic adviser, also told Fox Business last month he hoped the Fed raised rates "very slowly".

"The Fed's independence from short-term political pressures is critical to enabling it to take the longer-run perspective that is essential for achieving its legislated dual mandate for jobs and price stability", said Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The Fed has been slowly raising interest rates since December 2015 in an effort to avoid overheating the US economy.

Earlier today Trump threatened to unleash significant tariffs on all $500bn of Chinese imports to the US.

He also said that higher interest rates will strengthen the USA dollar too much, putting the United States at a "disadvantage" while central banks in Europe and Japan keep rates low.

He added, "No one in the administration has said anything to me that really gives me concern on this front". "So somebody would say, 'Oh, maybe you shouldn't say that as president".

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