Trump threatens to hit all $505bn of Chinese imports with tariffs

President Trump on Friday took his second swipe in two days at the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes, alleging the central bank is taking away the country's competitive advantage, which sent the US dollar lower.

Asked on CNBC if he is ready to go to $500 billion - a number that almost matches the $505 billion in products that China exported to the U.S.in 2017 - Trump said, "I'm ready to go to 500". "I'm doing this to do the right thing for our country", Trump said in a CNBC interview aired Friday.

"We're down a tremendous amount", Trump said in the interview, which was recorded on Thursday, about trade imbalances with China.

President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, a rare rebuke by a sitting president that upends longstanding executive branch protocol to avoid commenting on monetary policy.

Trump said he is "not thrilled" about the Fed's recent interest rate hikes.

He pointed out that China and the European Union continued to grow and enjoy a lower currency, suggesting it was giving them an economic advantage.

Donald Trump said he was concerned about the potential impact on the U.S. economy and American corporate competitiveness from rising rates and a stronger dollar. "Now any decision that the Fed makes, market participants are going to try to put it in the context of what they know are the president's and the administration's desires".

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

The US imported $505 billion worth of goods from China in 2017, according to Census Bureau data. He did not give CNBC any comment on Trump's interview.

"We don't like what you're doing'".

President Donald Trump is showing that no economic-policy tradition is sacred in his pursuit of faster growth and lower trade deficits.

Many companies in the U.S. are opposed to the administration's use of tariffs against China, saying they risk hurting business and the economy without being likely to change behaviour. USA stocks sank in early trading before rebounding.

The Fed has raised interest rates five times since Trump took office, with two of those coming this year under the Fed chair Jerome Powell, Trump's pick to replace Janet Yellen.

While the White House attempted to assuage concerns by reiterating the president's support for the Fed's independence, the comments still raised the spectre of a huge policy mistake from the 1970s.

"This is extraordinary to see Trump go after the Fed like this", said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments. I don't really - I'm not happy about it.

  • Eleanor Harrison