President Donald Trump said he will not 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 U.S. dollar.
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.
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 as he left the White House for a fundraiser in the Hamptons.
Trump 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.
Trump last week said new tariffs on Chinese imports will take effect Sept. 1, shattering a truce reached with President Xi Jinping weeks earlier and unleashing retaliatory actions on trade and currency policy that risk accelerating a wider geopolitical fight between the two countries.
Trade negotiators are currently scheduled to meet again in Washington in September. But Trump, speaking Friday, said the talks could be canceled amid the recent escalation.
“We’ll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September,” Trump said. “If we do, that’s fine. If we don’t, that’s fine.”