Trump threatens to slap tariffs on all $505bn of Chinese imports

Daniel Fowler
July 20, 2018

President Donald Trump upended almost three decades of presidential precedent by commenting on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy on Thursday, but at least one economist thinks the president's remarks could come back to bite him. "As usual, not a level playing field", Trump tweeted.

President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on all Chinese goods imported by the US.

Although he does not approve with recent hikes, President Trump followed up by saying he put a "very good man in" at the Fed. I don't necessarily agree with it because he's raising interest rates, I'm not saying I agree with it, and I don't necessarily agree with it, I must tell you I don't. "But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best", Trump told CNBC. After keeping rates at near zero for years, the Fed has hiked its benchmark interest rate seven times since 2015, and more are planned because the US economy is heating up.

The U.S. central bank last raised borrowing costs in June, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday repeated his oft-stated view that rates will keep climbing gradually.

In the CNBC interview, the president also broke with a long-established tradition at the White House and voiced displeasure about recent actions at the US Federal Reserve.

"We're down a tremendous amount", said Mr Trump, reiterating his view that China's trade surplus with the U.S. amounts to unfair trading practices.

The Fed's independence is couched in the belief that for the central bank to achieve its aims - ensuring financial stability and long-term growth - it should be free from the pressure that might be exerted by politicians seeking to alter policy for their own ends, rather than putting the country's prosperity first.

Hillary Clinton pushes back at Trump's Russian Federation tweet
She said the US hopes Putin will have the indicted Russians "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt". Mr Coats said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado: "Well, you're right, I don't know what happened at that meeting".

Trump said he was only expressing his opinion as a private citizen by criticizing the move to raise interest rates.

The last known example of United States presidential strong-arming came when George H W Bush was fighting for re-election.

Interest rate hikes can suppress investment and the unemployment rate, two metrics Trump and Republicans touted frequently throughout his presidency.

Markets reacted to Trump's comments, with stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields all falling. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News. "It would lead to fears that the Fed won't be as vigilant against inflation", Valliere said.

"Likely result of presidential intervention is higher rates as Fed needs to assert its independence", Summers tweeted.

Past efforts to apply political pressure on the Fed have sometimes hurt the economy.

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