Business

Trump offers Fed post to campaign adviser

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday he has offered a position on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors to Stephen Moore, a conservative economic adviser who has become an outspoken critic of the Fed’s interest-rate policy.

Moore, who has criticized the Fed for raising interest rates over the past year, is an economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation who helped draft Trump’s tax proposals in the 2016 campaign. As a nominee, Moore would face intense criticism in the Senate from Democrats, with whom he has clashed on several economic issues in his career as a commentator and policy advocate.

“I will be nominating Mr. Moore for the Fed,” Trump told reporters after landing in Palm Beach, Fla. “He’s going to be great on the Fed.”

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The move by Trump seeks to elevate a loyalist to the Fed, an institution that the president has repeatedly criticized for raising interest rates, which he says have chilled economic growth.

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In recent public writings and private meetings with Trump, Moore has pushed for the Fed to reverse at least two of the four interest rate increases that it approved last year. Moore blames those increases for a drop in commodity prices at the end of last year. He recently pushed the Fed to target commodity prices in setting interest rates, a view rarely advocated by economists and monetary policymakers.

“The Fed is sucking the oxygen out of the economy and has created an economically debilitating deflation,” Moore said in an e-mail earlier this month. “Deflation shrinks the economy. The Fed should reverse its disastrous rate hikes” of September and December.

The Fed had been on a steady campaign to raise interest rates and ushered in five consecutive quarters of rate hikes between 2017 and 2018. The Fed has since paused its increases and adopted a more “patient” approach amid signs of economic weakness both in the United States and abroad.

Moore, who has a master’s degree in economics, was the founder of the conservative Club for Growth and a past member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board.