- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
- President Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to blame the Federal Reserve for weakness in the US manufacturing sector.
- The space’s struggles have impacted states that are important for Trump’s re-election campaign.
- Trump, whose pledges to revitalize factory activity date back to his campaign in 2016, has sought to shift focus away from his escalating trade wars in recent months.
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to blame the Federal Reserve for weakness in the US manufacturing sector, which has increasingly hit states that could alter his prospects for re-election in 2020.
“The Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports to the benefit of other parts of the world,” the president wrote in a tweet. “Has anyone looked at what almost all other countries are doing to take advantage of the good old USA? Our Fed has been calling it wrong for too long!”
Trump, whose pledges to revitalize factory activity date back to his campaign in 2016, has sought to shift focus away from his escalating trade wars in recent months.
Trade policies over the past year have added to challenges for US manufacturers, who have also struggled to weather slower growth abroad. Reuters reports that tariffs levied between the Trump administration and major trading partners have disrupted factory activity most in swing states, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
A key gauge of manufacturing contracted for the first time since 2009 in August as new orders and export sales dropped. Those concerns could stoke concerns about the broader economy, which flashed a key recession signal for the first time in more than a decade this month.
The White House has disputed talk of an imminent downturn at the same time that it has taken steps to juice the economy. Days before a series of rapid trade escalations between the US and China, Trump and his advisers offered conflicting narratives on a potential proposal to cut taxes.
Trump issued a particularly harsh broadside toward Fed Chairman Jay Powell on Friday, depicting him as an “enemy” of the US, after signals that the independent central bank would not slash interest rates to the degree that the White House demanded.
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee slashed interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis in July. Policymakers cited trade policy uncertainty and strains on an otherwise solid economy as they lowered the target range to between 2% and 2.25%.