Trump presses Fed to respond to Chinese ‘currency manipulation’

President Trump lashed out at China and the Federal Reserve on Monday, accusing Beijing of manipulating its currency while implying that the U.S. central bank should do the same.

In a series of Monday tweets, Trump ripped China after the country’s central bank devalued its currency. The move was widely seen as retaliation for Trump’s announcement last week that he would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese products.

“China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It’s called ‘currency manipulation,’ ” Trump tweeted. “Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!”{mosads}

China allowed its currency to drop in value against the dollar, with the exchange rate for one yuan falling as low as 14 U.S. cents Monday. The move to weaken its currency reduces the relative price for Chinese goods purchased abroad, making U.S. products comparatively more expensive for foreign buyers.

China’s devaluation sent stocks plummeting, spurring fears on Wall Street that the world’s two largest economies will fail to end their yearlong trade war.

“China has always used currency manipulation to steal our businesses and factories, hurt our jobs, depress our workers’ wages and harm our farmers’ prices. Not anymore!” Trump tweeted after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 500 points.

Trump has often accused China of manipulating its currency, even though the Treasury Department has declined to formally label Beijing a “currency manipulator.” 

The president has also pressured the Fed to counteract the alleged manipulation of yuan by aggressively cutting interest rates. Cheaper borrowing costs reduce the value of the dollar, which would counteract efforts by China to weaken the yuan.

The Fed, an independent agency, is almost certain to ignore Trump’s request for a weaker dollar. Even so, the Fed cut interest rates last week as insurance against the growing costs of Trump’s trade war.

“There isn’t a lot of experience in responding to global trade tensions,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. “They evolve in a different way, and we have to follow them.”

Two days later, Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on more than $300 billion in consumer goods, clothing, household products and tech imports from China. 

“China is intent on continuing to receive the hundreds of Billions of Dollars they have been taking from the U.S. with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation. So one-sided, it should have been stopped many years ago,” Trump tweeted Monday.

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