Donald Trump protected Russian President Vladimir Putin when he blamed President Barack Obama for the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Now, he is trying to find a scapegoat for the startling decline in the U.S. economy.
POTUS shifted his sights to the Federal Reserve. Chair Jerome Powell once again when he tweeted:
‘The Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports to the benefit of other parts of the world. 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!’
This was not the first time POTUS hit the Fed Chair Jerome Powell. He must not have understood that the Federal Reserve is an independent body that sets monetary policy and interest rates. Trump wanted to give Powell orders, but the man he appointed refused. The Fed’s independence has been a crucial aspect of America’s financial system.
Fed Chair Powell gave a speech last week, indicating that the Fed could protect a sluggish economy up to a certain point. However, the trade war had been a shock to the U.S. economy, according to NBC News:
‘The global growth outlook has been deteriorating since the middle of last year. Trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing a role in the global slowdown and in weak manufacturing and capital spending in the United States.’
The Fed chair continued:
‘While monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade.’
With the stockmarket ricochetting back and for, NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly spoke to senior writer for The Bloomberg News Shawn Donnan about the manufacturing slowdown and how that would impact Trump’s economic record. Donnan responded:
‘Well, one of the things we’ve seen in manufacturing is literally a contraction in production. So industrial production in the United States contracted in July. But more importantly, it contracted in the first two quarters of this year. Two consecutive quarters of contraction is what most economists like to call a recession.’
Kelly asked whether there would be continued job growth in the manufacturing sector and Donnan replied:
‘Although, there is still job growth in the manufacturing sector, right? Just, and it depends where you look. It’s clear that President Trump at least can point to some positive signs in the first two years of his presidency. He’s added about 500,000 manufacturing jobs by some broad measures since he took office. But this year, things have flattened out a lot. And it depends where you look. If you look at Pennsylvania, for example, they’ve actually – have 5,000 less people working in manufacturing than they did at the beginning of this year.’
The senior writer had this to say about what was happening out in the field:
‘Yeah. So I was meeting with a company yesterday that was furloughing workers at the end of this month. And that’s a direct result of lack of demand out there. They’re reducing production, they’re cutting their weekend shifts. They’re not hiring new people. They’re not expanding. They’re putting a pause on investment at a new R&D facility.’
Donnan continued, speaking about a Pennsylvania manufacturer:
‘I was in Pennsylvania earlier this week and talking to a manufacturer there who had…been thinking about expanding into a new lot, a new lot, behind their current factory, and has just put that on hold for the time being.’
Then, Kelly asked about the role Trump’s tariffs were playing, and Donnan replied:
‘So a very real role. The president likes to say that China is paying for these tariffs, and that’s something that really irks a lot of manufacturers who literally get the bill for these tariffs. Again, that company I was visiting yesterday, they buy about $2.3 million of ball bearings from China, and they’re paying $138,000 more this year as a result of tariffs. That’s money that’s going straight to the U.S. Treasury. And the general manager there was saying every time he hears the president talk about China paying the cost of these tariffs, he just kind of wells up, gets angry and starts pounding the steering wheel of his car.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.