Washington, United States | AFP | President Donald Trump waded into the uproar over the US currency Thursday, saying he wants to see “a strong dollar,” after comments by his Treasury secretary appeared to signal the opposite and sent the dollar plunging to three-year lows.
In comments to CNBC, Trump said Steven Mnuchin’s remarks a day earlier, which seemed to favor a weak dollar to help US exporters, “were taken out of context.”
“Ultimately, I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
That comment sparked a rally in the greenback which had hit a three-year low against the euro earlier in the day, although it was still off about 11 percent from before Mnuchin’s remarks on Wednesday.
“I think they were taken out of context, because I read his exact statement,” Trump said about Mnuchin.
In a nod to the sensitivity of currency markets to any such statements from officials, Trump added: “I don’t like talking about it because frankly nobody should be talking about it.”
Having stated that “obviously a weaker dollar is good for us,” Trump’s Treasury secretary also tried to clarify his comments on Thursday, saying he was not signaling any change in US policy which traditionally has favored a strong dollar.
“I thought my comment on the dollar was actually quite clear… we are not concerned with where the dollar is in the short term,” Mnuchin told reporters.