LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST:
By Ted Goodman
President Donald Trump said the U.S. dollar “is getting too strong” Wednesday, and blasted other countries for devaluing their currency.
“I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “But that’s hurting — that will hurt ultimately.
“Look, there’s some very good things about a strong dollar, but usually speaking the best thing about it is that it sounds good,” he added, in an interview that also touched upon interest rates and the federal reserve. Trump left open the possibility of re-nominating Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen in 2018, and said that he prefers low-interest rates.
“I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you,” he said.
The Fed increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter of a point during its March 14 meeting, which was the second such increase in three months. The decision, which was expected by Wall Street, is a signal to some investors that the central bank remains hawkish under an improving economy.
“It is important for the public to understand that we’re getting closer to reaching our objectives,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said during a news conference following the March meeting. The Fed is expected to increase rates again in June, which would only be the fourth rate hike since the Great Recession.
“It’s very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency,” the president said, while also saying that China is not a currency manipulator, in a shift from his campaign rhetoric. Trump said labeling China a currency manipulator would jeopardize talks regarding North Korea.
The dollar fell against six other major currencies immediately after the president’s comments, falling 0.31 percent.