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Trump tweets ‘Who is our bigger enemy,’ Fed Chairman Powell or Chinese President Xi?

President Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of Jerome Powell to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System | November 2, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
August 23, 2019

President Donald Trump compared Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome “Jay” Powell to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday amid outrage over interest rates.

“As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?” Trump added.

Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s announcement, Trump had tweeted, “Now the Fed can show their stuff!”

Powell spoke at the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wy. on Friday morning, where he said he would not be cutting federal interest rates, as Trump has urged.

“Our challenge now is to do what monetary policy can do to sustain the expansion so that the benefits of the strong jobs market extend to more of those still left behind, and so that inflation is centered firmly around 2 percent,” Powell said at the event.

“We will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective,” Powell said.

Instead, Powell warned about federal policy limits

“In principle, anything that affects the outlook for employment and inflation could also affect the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and that could include uncertainty about trade policy,” he added.

“There are, however, no recent precedents to guide any policy response to the current situation. Moreover, while monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade,” he continued.

Powell pointed to federal trade policy, advising that adjustments should be made to mitigate risk and meet objectives.