Trump is threatening to put a tariff on every Chinese good

President Donald Trump   Leah Millis  Reuters

Trump said that raising American interest rates makes investment in China comparatively attractive, because China manipulates its currency by artificially devaluing it.

Global markets are falling late on Friday morning after US President Donald Trump threatened to levy new tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods from China. "As usual, not a level playing field..."

A top Federal Reserve official, meanwhile, warned the trade war could hurt the U.S. economy.

"The US should be allowed to recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals", Trump said on Twitter.

The dollar has strengthened since late 2015 as the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates against a background of steady economic growth, slowly rising inflation and the lowest U.S. unemployment rate since the 1960s.

Data released by the US Census Bureau show that in 2017, the US imported 505.5 billion worth of goods from China, while its exports to China amounted to only $129.9bn.

"I'm ready to go to 500", Trump said the CNBC interview broadcast Friday.

Trump's comments came shortly after CNBC aired an interview with the president in which he bashed the Fed's planned rate hikes.

Presidents have historically avoided criticizing the Fed, which is created to be independent from political interference.

Trump supporters eager to get their hands on Trump-themed shirts and hats may have to wait more than they normally would have - and it's all thanks to the president's tariffs.

Policymakers around the world go out of their way to maintain the independence of their central banks, because the temptation to use monetary policy as a political tool by elected officials is too great.

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"I don't want them to be scared". President Xi Jingping "cannot lose face with his own people by giving in to the United States", Dollar said. "Over two years, I'm more anxious about seeing eight than seven (yuan to the dollar)", he said, adding that the Chinese currency was already considered artificially strong. It would hurt both countries, but China's "state-run government can do more to artificially prop up its economy" and a cratering USA economy would nearly surely hurt Trump's presidency. Following the financial crisis, the U.S. indirectly used low interest rates to keep the dollar low, he said.

"Tightening now hurts all that we have done", Trump tweeted.

Much of Trump's ire with the Fed seems directed at the impact that the central bank's interest rate increases have had on the dollar. "And that was the main way in which our economy recovered", Mr Stiglitz said in phone interview.

'I'm not happy about it. But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best'.

The economy has continued to grow since Trump took office, with unemployment rates down, growth rising and the stock market up - though it closed down about 135 points on Thursday.

The current Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, is a Trump appointee. The IMF projects the United States trade deficit will widen as tax cuts and spending increases enacted this year stoke demand for imports. Past presidents have typically refrained from criticizing the Fed, which determines how to manage interest rates to keep inflation in check.

In congressional testimony this week, though, he expressed concern about Trump's confrontational trade policies.

Trump also acknowledged that his comments are unusual but said he doesn't care.

"So somebody would say, 'Oh, maybe you shouldn't say that as president.' I couldn't care less what they say because my views haven't changed", he said.

"It breaks with the consistency in the dollar messaging that we've had over the last 25 years, which has provided a strong backstop for market-determined exchange rates", said Shaun Osborne, chief foreign-exchange strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

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