June 25, 2019 / 6:00 PM / 2 months ago

Trump thinks dollar is too strong, blames Fed policy: official

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about prices before charging patients for healthcare services, at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump believes the U.S. dollar is too strong, and the euro is too weak, and feels the situation could be eased if the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

The official also said the White House had no plans to demote Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, adding that there were different views within the White House counsel’s office regarding the president’s authority to do so.

Trump, who is expected to underline U.S. economic gains in his 2020 re-election bid, has frequently blasted Fed policy and said other countries are using monetary polity to manipulate their currency and gain advantage in the global markets.

The Republican president had tapped Powell to lead the U.S. central bank, but has repeatedly and publicly criticized him and sought to remove him from his post.

But there are differing opinions on whether Trump has the authority to remove Powell, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official added that Trump is expected to interview several candidates for other open seats on the Fed after the president returns from his upcoming trip to Japan.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Tim Ahmann and Susan Heavey; Editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell

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