Trump Threatens to Place Tariffs on All $500B China Imports, Blasts Fed Again

Trump blasted the Fed, the EU, China today with threats to put tariffs on everything. China and the EU are manipulators.

President Donald Trump escalated his criticism of the Federal Reserve Friday, saying in a tweet that its efforts to raise short-term interest rates hurt the U.S. economic expansion, and he accused China and the European Union of manipulating their currencies to hurt the U.S. on trade.

The tweets came shortly after CNBC broadcast an interview with Mr. Trump in which the president said he was prepared to raise U.S. tariffs on $500 billion worth of imports from China as part of his push to narrow U.S. trade deficits with China. In the same interview he said he wasn’t happy about Fed rate increases.

The central bank’s campaign to slowly raise interest rates “hurts all that we have done,” he wrote Friday. “The U.S. should be allowed to recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals. Debt coming due & we are raising rates - Really?”

The president has threatened tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese imports before. On July 6 on Air Force One, the president told reporters that tariffs could eventually hit all U.S. imports from China, affecting nearly $505 billion in imports.

When asked during Friday’s CNBC interview, “Will you ever get to 500, though?” Mr. Trump responded that he is “ready to go to 500,” referring to the approximate dollar value of Chinese goods exported to the U.S. last year.

“I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country. We have been ripped off by China for a long time,” he said.

Manipulating Currencies

China is guilty as charged. So is the EU. So is Japan. So is the US.

What else do you call it when trillions of dollars of QE are sloshing around in an attempt to keep interest rates artificially low?

Interest rates and interest rate differentials affect currencies. The only thing different about China and Japan is both do direct Forex intervention. You can add the Swiss National Bank to that list as well.

So yes, they whole damn pack of them, including the US are manipulators.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-16

My take is that Trump wants his statements out there that interest rate increases will cause problems in the economy because he knows we will likely be heading into a recession before his term is up. Then he can deflect from the tariff impact (at least somewhat).


Would be nice if the article is true, but there's plenty of suspect stuff in there. First of all, the US is involved in the ME for much more than energy concerns. It may have started that way, but morphed into something far more complicated since the '40s.

It is also blissfully naïve about our intentions, as evidenced by this whopper of a quote: "So why should the US continue to spend blood and treasure keeping peace in the Middle East"? Not sure we've kept any peace there for a long time, unless it's "peace" as defined by the House of Saud.

If I'm Assad, I would drag my feet hard about banishing Hezbollah, the people primarily responsible for thwarting the West-backed extremists. The US/Israel/Saudis have amply demonstrated they cannot be trusted, so allies should be kept close. Maybe allow a token faction to leave while the cameras are rolling, but nothing more. Playing nice with the West could mean getting Gaddafi'd.


As others have stated, the Fed may feel more compelled to keep the quarter point raises coming just to make a point about independence from the US gov. Trump needs to be careful here, no leader has challenged the central bankers in the modern era and won. The Fed can say they're simply trying to normalize rates, something Trump would have endorsed back when he was a candidate.


I agree. And if what was described in this article actually materializes, it will be the best news of the year.


As an aside, I actually think Trump has so far done quite well in terms of foreign policy. Sure, he's ruffling a few feathers here and there, and I don't know why he's so fixated on Iran, but overall my feeling is he has not abandoned the pro-peace leanings he first revealed during his campaign.