Tags: Trump Administration | mnuchin | dollar | trade | war | ross

Mnuchin Endorses Weaker Dollar, Sharpening Trade War Rhetoric

Mnuchin Endorses Weaker Dollar, Sharpening Trade War Rhetoric
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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:54 AM

Breaking with traditional U.S. policy of support for a strong currency, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin endorsed the dollar’s decline as a benefit to the U.S. economy.

"Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin told reporters on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "But again I think longer term the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the U.S. economy and the fact that it is and will continue to be the primary currency in terms of
the reserve currency."

The dollar is now at its lowest in three years, as measured by the Bloomberg Dollar Index, extending a slide amid investor concern over President Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda and a special counsel investigation stemming from his 2016 campaign.

While the comments echo Trump administration doubts over a strong currency, Mnuchin’s blast came as U.S. officials confront the global elite with their "America First" agenda. On the eve of the Davos meetings, the U.S. slapped tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, speaking alongside Mnuchin, says more measures are in the offing.  

Trade Wars

"Trade wars are fought every single day," Ross said. "So a trade war has been in place for quite a little while, the difference is the U.S. troops are now coming to the rampart."

It’s a message Trump is likely to send in person on Friday when he becomes the first president in 18 years to address the Davos gathering of corporate executives and investors.

While administrations dating back to Bill Clinton -- the last president to attend Davos -- have made a strong dollar a rhetorical staple, Trump and his aides have been less fulsome in their support for the currency. The president said last August that he thought the "dollar is getting too strong" and that "will hurt ultimately.” Mnuchin has said in the past that an "excessively strong dollar” could hamper growth.

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Economy
Breaking with traditional U.S. policy of support for a strong currency, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin endorsed the dollar's decline as a benefit to the U.S. economy.
mnuchin, dollar, trade, war, ross
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2018-54-24
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:54 AM
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