President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he’d hold “extended” talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at next week’s G-20 summit and he rebuked European Central Bank President Mario Draghi over a possible move to provide further monetary stimulus.
MEETING WITH XI; POWELL COMMENT
Trump said on Twitter that he’d had a “very good telephone conversation” with Xi, and that they would have “an extended meeting” during the June 28-29 G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan.
Trump’s announcement of the meeting comes as the administration is considering a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods not currently subject to levies. The tweet from the president helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Average
more than 350 points higher, and the S&P 500 index
closed about 1% short of a record high. Stocks held on to gains after Bloomberg TV reported the White House had explored the legality of demoting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in February.
Asked if he wants to demote Powell, Trump told reporters, “Let’s see what he does.” Fed policy makers wrap up a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Trump has taken frequent shots at the central bank for raising interest rates.
Trump has said that he expects China and the U.S. will eventually make a deal to resolve their trade differences. Chinese state media confirmed that the leaders’ meeting will happen.
Trump also took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Draghi’s suggestion that the ECB could roll out fresh stimulus.
Draghi’s speech at a central-banking forum in Portugal sent the euro
down early Tuesday, and helped provide a lift to global equity markets. In his tweet Trump complained that the euro’s decline against the dollar made it “unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA.” Trump also tweeted about the gains for Germany’s stock market index
, which he also called unfair.
Trump’s hostile response to Draghi’s signal that the ECB could move to provide further monetary stimulus as early as next month is stoking fears that a potential U.S. trade war with its major trading partners could also be accompanied by a currency war.
The president made his Twitter comments as he was preparing to head to Florida for his official re-election kickoff rally in the evening. Late Monday night, the president threatened to remove millions of people living in the country illegally, returning to his signature hard-line rhetoric on immigration.
Trump said Patrick Shanahan, who has served as acting secretary of defense for six months, was taking himself out of the running for Pentagon chief and would “devote more time to his family.”
Shanahan’s nomination as defense secretary had been delayed by an unusually long background check. In an interview with the Washington Post, Shanahan, a former Boeing
executive, said he regretted explaining his son’s assault on his ex-wife with a baseball bat as an act of self-defense. Trump named Mark Esper, the secretary of the Army and a former Raytheon
executive, to take over as acting secretary of defense.
Raytheon and United Technologies
announced a merger deal on June 9. It is expected to close in early 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. Analysts say it isn’t expected to draw significant antitrust scrutiny, since the companies don’t compete against each other in most of their markets.