Stephen Moore, one of Donald Trump's economic advisers during the campaign, said he was not concerned about most of the president’s latest policy flip-flops, but disagrees that the U.S. currency is too powerful.
“Advocating a weaker dollar is I don’t think good policy or good politics,” Moore told The Washington Post. “A strong dollar is a strong president, and a weak dollar is a weak president,” the Newsmax Finance Insider said.
Trump earlier this week said he won’t brand China a currency manipulator, retreating from core campaign promise, though he argued that a strong dollar is hampering the ability of American firms to compete.
Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, appeared to acknowledged that China hasn’t been intervening to weaken its currency recently. “They’re not currency manipulators," he said.
It was a shift of opinion after Trump accused China during last year’s election campaign of manipulating its currency to gain the upper hand in trade and vowed to label the country a manipulator on his first day.
Trump also doubted that a strong U.S. greenback was helping the economy.
“I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me. But that’s hurting — that will hurt ultimately,” he told the Journal. “It’s very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency.”
Moore explained to the Post that successful presidents have supervised the economy when the U.S. currency was strong, and the greenback has been weak while unsuccessful presidents were in office.
“For instance, Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter wrestled with a weak dollar throughout their terms, while the greenback recorded gains under Presidents Reagan and Clinton,” the Post reported. “Indeed, Moore said, if Trump delivers on the promise of a rapidly accelerating economy, his success would draw in investors from around the world, and the dollar would almost certainly appreciate,” the Post said.
For his part, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that long-term strengthening of the dollar is in the best interest of the economy, while in the short-term it could create issues, Bloomberg reported.
Elsewhere, Moore said Trump’s apparent reversals on China being a currency manipulator and the importance of the Export Import Bank don’t matter to the ordinary American.
Moore warned that the major risk for Trump is whether he can fulfill his well-known campaign promises: building a wall on the Mexican border, reducing taxes and undoing President Barack Obama's healthcare law, known as Obamacare.
“Look, what made Trump so attractive to so many of the Trump voters was this idea that … he wasn’t just a standard politician who says one thing and does another thing, so he’s got to be careful about that,” Moore said. “It’s the big promises that matter most.”
But Moore did take exception to Trump’s flip-flop on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Trump criticized Yellen during the campaign, accusing her of manipulating interest rates to help Obama.
But Trump left open this week the possibility that she might keep her job after he had threatened on the campaign trail he would kick Yellen out of office.
“I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you,” Trump said, according to the Journal. Of Yellen, he said “I like her, I respect her,” though “it’s very early.”
Moore “argues that Yellen — along with many economists and bankers whom Republicans appointed to the Fed — has involved the central bank too deeply in regulating the financial sector and propping up the economy. Instead, Moore argues, the Fed should concentrate on maintaining a sound U.S. dollar,” the Post reported.
“We, as conservatives, believe the Fed should basically have one mandate, and that is to keep the dollar stable and to keep inflation down,” Moore said.
“Janet Yellen has to go,” he said. “The free-market conservatives — I think they’re universal in wanting to get rid of Yellen. I think people would be very disappointed."
Meanwhile, CNN explained that the policy reversals are just part of Trump's standard operating procedure and always have been,
"Everything, in the world of Trump, is a negotiation -- up to and including facts. This quote, from "Art of the Deal," is deeply revealing about that Trump philosophy:
"I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first," CNN reported.
Trump also recently himself told CNN: "I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way," Trump said last week.
Stephen Moore is a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, economics contributor to FreedomWorks and author of "Who's the Fairest of Them All?" To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page atwww.creators.com.
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