Donald Trump: ‘Who Is Our Bigger Enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?’

President Donald Trump listens as former NBA basketball player and coach Bob Cousy, of the Boston Celtics, speaks during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Donald Trump continued his criticism of the Federal Reserve on Friday after Chairman Jerome Powell spoke about monetary policy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the leader of China, Xi Jinping. The president criticized the Federal Reserve for doing “nothing” to react to China’s latest round of retaliatory tariffs announced on Friday.

“It is incredible that they can ‘speak’ without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly,” Trump wrote. “We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great.”

Powell did not directly respond to Trump’s complaints of the Federal Reserve failing to lower interest rates in the wake of economic jitters surrounding the trade fight with China. But he said he would continue to serve independently of the president’s trade goals.

“Setting trade policy is the business of Congress and the Administration, not that of the Fed,” Powell said. “Our assignment is to use monetary policy to foster our statutory goals.”

Powell spoke Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual research conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Trump signaled his commitment to taking on China, ordering companies to seek other suppliers.

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” he wrote on Twitter.

The stock market dropped more than 400 points after Trump’s response.

He said he would respond to China’s new round of tariffs on Friday afternoon.

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