President Donald Trump has asked some of his aides to find a way to weaken the U.S. dollar, according to a recent report by Bloomberg. This is the latest effort by Trump to strengthen the economy further heading into the 2020 presidential election.
The president didn’t stop with his aides, either. The dollar was brought up during interviews with Trump’s two newest nominees for the Federal Reserve board, Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller, according to people familiar with the process. Trump announced his two newest picks last week.
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic advisor, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are not fans of currency manipulation, though, said the same individuals in the Bloomberg report. Past administrations have called for a strong dollar because assets like U.S. Treasurys are held by many countries around the world.
The president has not been shy about his criticism of the dollar’s value in foreign exchange markets, and has even called out countries for devaluing their own currencies to inflate the trade deficit with the U.S. Last week, Trump tweeted that the U.S. should play the same “currency manipulation game” that Europe and China allegedly are taking part in.
“China and Europe playing big currency manipulation game and pumping money into their system in order to compete with USA,” Trump said on Twitter. “We should MATCH, or continue being the dummies who sit back and politely watch as other countries continue to play their games — as they have for many years!”
The Trump administration has not officially named China — or any other country — a currency manipulator, but it is on a list of nine countries being monitored.
Trump has made reducing the U.S. trade deficit a priority during his first term, and a stronger dollar makes that tougher to achieve as countries are forced to spend more for U.S. exports.