President Donald Trump made his support of a weak dollar official, saying Thursday he is disappointed in the strong currency and is blaming the Federal Reserve.
“As your President, one would think that I would be thrilled with our very strong dollar. I am not!” the president said.
The urging for a weak greenback is unusual for presidents, who generally have refrained from making statements that would influence the currency markets. Forex traders have reacted sharply to administration comments previously seen as backing a weak-dollar policy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for instance, in early January made comments that he said were misinterpreted that nonetheless coincided with a dollar sell-off.
But Trump spoke out strongly, saying the dollar’s high value compared with its global competitors has been hurting U.S.-based multinationals including Caterpillar, Boeing and John Deere, as well as automakers.
The dollar index was little changed against a basket of its global competitors in morning trade, edging lower following the president’s comments.
As he has multiple times in the past, Trump took out his disappointment on the Fed. He has repeatedly called for the central bank to cut interest rates, with a series of tweets Wednesday urging “bigger and faster” action than the quarter-point cut the Fed approved last week.
“With substantial Fed Cuts (there is no inflation) and no quantitative tightening, the dollar will make it possible for our companies to win against any competition,” he said Thursday. Trump continues to reference “quantitative tightening” even though the Fed ended the program of reducing its bond holdings a week ago.
“We have the greatest companies in the world, there is nobody even close, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about our Federal Reserve,” he added. “They have called it wrong at every step of the way, and we are still winning. Can you imagine what would happen if they actually called it right?”
Trump hasn’t always favored a strong dollar. In 2012, before he ran for office, Trump blasted the Fed for “destroying the dollar.”