President Donald Trump said he won’t devalue the dollar amid an escalating trade war with China that has unleashed tit- for-tat actions on trade and currency policy.
“No, we don’t have to,” Trump said Friday when asked whether he plans to devalue the greenback, though he added that if the Federal Reserve were to cut interest rates it “would automatically bring down the dollar a little bit,” relieving pressure on exporters.
Inside the White House, hawks have been pushing for a direct intervention in currency markets by the Treasury by pointing to a slowdown in U.S. manufacturing, which many economists have blamed on tariffs imposed by Trump and uncertainty surrounding his trade war with China.
Speculation has been building among strategists that U.S. may intervene to forcibly weaken the dollar. The risk of U.S. action rose further in the eyes of some analysts this week after the yuan plunged to a decade-low and the Trump administration formally named China a currency manipulator.
The Bloomberg dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of peers, briefly jumped following Trump’s comment on the greenback, before slipping back to be little changed from where it was.
“We have the safest currency of the world. We have the standard of the world,” the president said.
Trump last week said new tariffs on Chinese imports will take effect Sept. 1, shattering a truce reached with President Xi Jinping weeks earlier.