Trump claims Fed rate hikes hinder United States economy

Earlier this month the United States imposed tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese imports

President Donald Trump said Friday he is ready to increase tariffs on goods that the US imports from China to $500 billion.

During a CNBC interview on Friday, President Donald Trump has said that he's "not happy" with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, and that he thinks doing so undermines any work he does for the economy.

In a pair of tweets, Trump said China, the European Union and others had been "manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower" while the dollar gained in strength, eroding "our big competitive edge".

Meanwhile, the president continues to fight for a level playing field with America's trading partners - but not everyone agrees with his aggressive approach to free and fair trade.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese imports.

Many companies in the USA are opposed to the administration's use of tariffs against China, saying they risk hurting business and the economy without being likely to change behaviour.

The U.S. dollar index cut its gains after Trump's comments that the strong dollar "puts us at a disadvantage", while yields on U.S. Treasury securities hit session lows. "Debt coming due & we are raising rates - Really?" he tweeted. "I couldn't care less what they say, because my views haven't changed".

"I'm not thrilled", he said in an interview on CNBC television. "Were I Chairman Powell, I would ignore the president and do my job and I am confident he will do just that". "We are being taking advantage of and I don't like it", he said.

His allegations that China and the European Union are manipulating currencies are at odds with a Treasury Department report released in April that did not name any country as a currency manipulator.

"I don't want them to be scared".

The president's comments likely put a ceiling on the recent USA dollar rally so far this year, said Viraj Patel, a foreign-exchange strategist at ING Bank NV.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is defending President Donald Trump's comment lamenting the Federal Reserve's action to raise USA interest rates.

"I'm not doing this for politics - I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country", he added.

The Fed has been slowly raising interest rates since December 2015 in an effort to avoid overheating the US economy.

The euro, yen and yuan gained against the US dollar right after the president took to social media on Friday morning, while the dollar index, which measures the USA currency against global currencies, was lately off 0.6 percent.

Most economists believe the Fed's current policy of raising interest rates is sound monetary policy given US consumer price inflation is at an annual rate of 2.9 percent and the unemployment rate was at 4.0 percent in June.

The Fed hiked interest rates twice this year, and plans to raise them two more times by the end of 2018.

The economy has continued to grow since Trump took office, with unemployment rates down, growth rising and the stock market up - though it closed down about 135 points on Thursday.

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