Trump heightens tariff threat in trade war with China

President Donald Trump on Friday (Jul 20) launched a fresh attack on American trading partners, saying the European Union and China were manipulating their currencies, and he threatened to hit all imports from China with high tariffs.

"I'm not thrilled, because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again", Trump told CNBC. I don't really - I'm not happy about it. "I want them to do well", he said of China. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. Currently, the Trump administration has only put tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products.

The economy has continued to grow since Trump took office, with unemployment rates down, growth rising and the stock market up - though it closed down about 135 points on Thursday.

China's central bank is allowing its tightly controlled currency to drift lower against the dollar, a move that could help Chinese exporters cope with US tariff hikes.

Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping maintain a good relationship despite the growing dispute over trade.

While the Trump administration has stopped short of honoring a campaign pledge to formally designating China a currency manipulator, the president's stream of consciousness approach to economic issues, andwhat many experts perceive as the dangers of unintended consequences, is causing alarm in foreign capitals and central banks. The Fed has been carefully and gradually raising rates over the past several years to keep inflation in check and to prevent the economy from overheating.

Trump claimed Friday on Twitter that Fed rate hikes would put the U.S.at a competitive disadvantage to China and the European Union, which he accused of manipulating their currencies and abusing trade laws.

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Many countries have long tilted the playing field toward favored companies and industries, a practice economists call industrial policy.

"I'm not doing this for politics, I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country", Trump said.

USA companies may find themselves less able to compete globally as import tariffs contribute to rising input costs, forcing them to raise prices or lower their profit margins.

Trump's rebuke broke with more than two decades of White House tradition of avoiding comments on monetary policy out of respect for the independence of the United States central bank.

"One of the hallmarks of our great American economy is preserving the independence of the Federal Reserve".

But falling prices and lower sales would hurt US soybean farmers, it warns, pointing out that USA prices have fallen by 18 percent from May to early July, to their lowest this year. And in a statement, the White House noted that Trump was not intending to exert any such influence: "Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed".

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