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Trump calls on Federal Reserve to cut interest rates

Trump calls on Federal Reserve to cut interest rates


U.S. President Donald Trump called on the Federal Reserve to begin cutting interest rates, saying the economy will take off like a “rocketship” if the Fed begins loosening policy.

Trump, speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, said that he believes the central bank “really slowed us down” with the four rate hikes it imposed last year.

The president said those were unnecessary because there is “very little, if any inflation.”

“I think they should drop rates and I think they should get rid of quantitative tightening. You would see a rocket ship,” Trump said.

Trump has announced he intends to nominate to conservative political allies — Stephen Moore and former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain — for two current vacancies on the seven-member Fed board.

Not meddling, says economics advisor

A top economics adviser to Trump says the administration is not trying to damage the independence of the Federal Reserve by appointing two of Trump’s close political allies to the Fed board.

Larry Kudlow, head of the president’s National Economic Council, says in an interview on the Fox Business Network that the administration is allowed to put people at the central bank who share the president’s views on the economy.

Kudlow was responding to criticism after Trump’s announcements that he plans to nominate conservative political allies — Stephen Moore and former 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain — to the two vacancies on the seven-member Fed board.

Trump’s choices were seen as escalating an effort by the White House to exert political pressure on the central bank.



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Trump says he'll slap tariffs on Mexico if it doesn't stop flow of drugs and migrants

Trump says he’ll slap tariffs on Mexico if it doesn’t stop flow of drugs and migrants


U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to slap tariffs on cars produced in Mexico unless the country does more to stop migrants trying to enter the U.S.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that if the “powerful incentive” but “less drastic measure” doesn’t work, he’ll go through with his standing threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Republican president had threatened last week to close the border this week unless Mexico immediately halted “ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States.” He has since praised the country for doing more.

Trump is also threatening tariffs if Mexico doesn’t halt the flow of illegal drugs across the border. He says he’s giving Mexico “a one-year warning” to comply.

“I’ll do it,” he said. I don’t play games.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says the House of Representatives will sue to block Trump’s plan to redirect funds to building a wall along the border with Mexico. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

But he also said Mexico was working to change the situation. 

“A lot of good things are happening with Mexico,” Trump told reporters at the White House. 

“Mexico understands that we’re going to close the border, or I’m going to tariff the cars.”

Trump warned last Friday that he would close the U.S. border with Mexico this week unless Mexico took action to help stop the flow of illegal migrants across the frontier.

Trump said Thursday that media coverage in recent days has prompted Mexico to make moves to curb the flow of immigrants to the United States and to take other actions to ease the pressure on U.S. ports of entry.

At the same time, the U.S. House of Representatives is threatening to sue to block Trump’s transfer of money to pay for a border wall along the border with Mexico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

Trump declared a national emergency at the border in February to secure the money that Congress refused to give him for the wall.

“The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,” Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said in a statement.



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White House says Trump will meet with Chinese vice-premier

White House says Trump will meet with Chinese vice-premier


Trade talks between the United States and China made “good headway” last week in Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during talks that could extend beyond three days this week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

Kudlow, speaking to reporters on Wednesday at an event organized by the Christian Science Monitor, said China had recognized problems for the first time during the talks that the United States has raised for years.

Negotiations continued in Washington on Wednesday after meetings last week in Beijing, spearheaded by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

President Donald Trump will meet with Vice-Premier Liu He, who is leading the Chinese side in the talks, in the Oval Office at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, the White House said.

The United States and China have levied tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of two-way trade since July 2018. Trump has said he wants a “great deal” with China and has hinted that tariffs could remain in place for some time.

Chinese commitments to increase purchases of American agricultural, energy and manufactured products are expected to be part of a final deal, and a person familiar with the talks said China would get about six years to meet those commitments, or until 2025.

The deadline was reported earlier by Bloomberg, but Trump administration officials previously said that a six-year timeline for purchases exceeding $1 trillion had been under discussion.

A final number for the amount of purchases has not been settled, the person said.

‘We’re not there yet’

Kudlow said Liu and his team would remain in Washington for three days and possibly longer.

“We’re covering issues that have never really been covered before, including enforcement,” Kudlow said, listing U.S. accusations that Beijing engages in intellectual property theft, forced transfer of technology from U.S. companies doing business in China, cyber hacking, tariffs and non-tariff barriers for commodity trading.

“All making good progress, all making good headway, but we’re not there yet,” he said about those areas. “We hope this week to get closer.”

Kudlow said it was significant that China had “acknowledged these problems for the first time. They were in denial.”

Those structural issues along with the way a potential deal would be enforced have been sticking points during months of talks between the world’s two largest economies.

Kudlow said on Wednesday that U.S. charges against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd had generally not come up during trade talks.

Kudlow also said no decisions had been made on tariffs on auto imports coming from top U.S. allies.



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