Trump cheers ‘cordial’ meeting with Fed chairman
President Trump on Monday met in person with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the White House to discuss the economy and inflation.
Trump, who has regularly criticized Powell and sought to pressure the Fed to cut interest rates into 2019, described the meeting as “very good” and “cordial” in a tweet Monday morning.
The Federal Reserve said Trump invited Powell to meet with him at the White House “to discuss the economy, growth, employment and inflation.”
Just finished a very good & cordial meeting at the White House with Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve. Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others, etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2019
“Chair Powell’s comments were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week. He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy,” the Fed said in a statement.
“Finally, Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis,” the statement continued.
The meeting, which was not listed on Trump’s public schedule Monday, came after Powell testified on Capitol Hill last week, during which he said that the Fed was likely to keep interest rates steady unless the state of the economy changed for the worse.
Trump has long sought to pressure the Fed into cutting interest rates to zero percent or lower, often taking aim at Powell on his Twitter feed. He has argued that the Fed puts the United States at a disadvantage when compared to other countries.
Trump in his tweet said that “everything was discussed,” including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, the strength of the U.S. dollar and its impact on manufacturing jobs. Trump also said they talked about trade with China and the European Union.
In his congressional testimony last Wednesday, Powell did not comment on Trump’s criticisms or trade policy but said negative interest rates wouldn’t make sense during a time that the U.S. economy is still expanding.
“Our economy is in a strong position. We’ve got growth. We have a strong consumer sector. We have inflation a bit below target,” Powell told the Joint Economic Committee. “So, the very, very low and even negative rates that we see around the world would not be appropriate for our country.”
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