In an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen, US President Donald Trump argued that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy could disrupt the economic recovery that his administration fueled. "As usual, not a level playing field", Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump has slapped hefty import taxes on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico, in addition to imposing levies on goods from China worth tens of billions of dollars, sparking retaliatory tariffs and stoking fears of an all-out trade war. "And China, their currency is dropping like a rock and our currency is going up and I have to tell you, it puts us at a disadvantage".
After the interview, Trump reiterated criticism of planned interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, saying in a Twitter post that tightening policy would diminish any US advantage in trade and exacerbate losses from "BAD trade deals". Then, his complaint was that interest rates were too low. "But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best", Trump said.
A spokesperson for the Fed declined to comment.
Mr. Powell argues that the economy is strong enough to handle higher rates after the rates were kept artificially low to help the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007.
Most economists believe the Fed's current policy of raising interest rates is sound monetary policy given USA consumer price inflation is at an annual rate of 2.9% and the unemployment rate was at 4% in June.
The White House also attempted to assuage fears of the president pressuring the Fed immediately after Trump's comments were released.
"Given what we know about Powell, we see little chance the President has gotten in his head", Feroli wrote in a note to clients.
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Trump said he was only expressing his opinion as a private citizen by criticizing the move to raise interest rates. "Debt coming due & we are raising rates - Really?"
Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, Powell cited "robust job gains" and an overall "solid pace of growth" as reasons for recent and future rate hikes.
The U.S. dollar fell to 112.46 yen from 112.84 yen earlier, and yields on Treasurys dipped slightly.
Economists say state intervention in the affairs of central banks can have disastrous consequences, leading to hyper-inflation and devalued currencies.
'Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed.
"My experience at the Fed is consistent with what Jay Powell recently said - being non-political is deep in the Fed's DNA - and I believe that Jay will keep it that way".
"We're down a tremendous amount", Trump said in an interview about trade imbalances with China on CNBC broadcast on Friday.
Unemployment stands at 4 percent, close to record lows, while the economy has continued to expand under Trump, and the GOP is pitching their economic record ahead of the midterm elections. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.