Trump Says He's 'Not Thrilled' About US Interest Rate Hikes

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Jae C. Hong AP Images

"I'm not thrilled, because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again", Trump told CNBC. In a reference to interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve, Trump added, "tightening now hurts all that we have done".

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The president also said the European Union is "making money easy" and China is manipulating its currency.

Trump's comments come in the wake of a growing rift between the two biggest economies.

'I don't like all of this work that we're putting into the economy and then I see rates going up'. "I really like President Xi a lot, but it was very unfair". Chinese imports from the US totaled $205 billion in the first five months of 2018, with the deficit reaching $152 billion.

In an interview with CNBC television broadcast Friday, Trump threatened to slap all Chinese imported goods with tariffs, risking an escalation in global trade war tactics.

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The Fed has been set on a slow and steady path of interest rate hikes over the past two years, leading economists to wonder if the central bank could tamp down some of Trump's promised economic growth.

"The Fed's independence from short-term political pressures is critical to enabling it to take the longer-run perspective that is essential for achieving its legislated dual mandate for jobs and price stability", said Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

State-owned China Global Television Network on Friday posted a video, first spotted by Reuters, seemingly created to undermine support for Trump's trade policies.

His comments anxious investors already grappling with the impact of a strengthening US dollar on corporate results, and key stock indexes on Wall Street dropped at the open on Friday.

Trump said the U.S.is "being taken advantage of" on a number of fronts, including trade and monetary policy.

"I don't want them to be scared", he told CNBC.

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Trump's remarks immediately raised questions about Trump's commitment to the Fed's political independence, a key pillar of the central bank's function.

"No president should interfere with the workings of the Fed", Fisher said.

The US imported $505 billion worth of goods from China in 2017, according to Census Bureau data.

Trump nominated current Fed Chair Powell, who had served as a governor on the board of the Fed, to serve at its helm after Janet Yellen's retirement in February.

"They literally have the President of the United States trying to jawbone currencies and put pressure on the Fed to keep the currency weak. Why?"

All things being equal, rate hikes have the effect of raising a value of a country's currency, because they mean investors can expect higher returns for investing in that country.

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