22:18 GMT +324 June 2019
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    Trump Says China's Currency 'Dropping Like a Rock'

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    Tensions between Washington and Beijing has been running high, with a full-scale trade war looming on the horizon, with US President Donald Trump's vision of China as an economic adversary remaining unchanged.

    Trump told CNBC in an interview to be aired on Friday that strong dollar "puts us [the US] at a disadvantage," adding that "Chinese currency is dropping like a rock."

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    Trump has been threatening China to punish it for what he said was "unfair" trade ever since he ascended to presidency but a real threat of the trade war emerged when the United States in March imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Commenting on the US decision, Beijing called on Washington to avoid excessive use of protectionist trade measures, with China Iron and Steel Association calling the US import tariff policy "foolish protectionist measures."

    READ MORE: Recession Signs Stir Concern Among US Investors, Fed Policymakers

    The US president also noted that he is not excited by ongoing interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, but he allows the central bank to do what it thinks is most appropriate.

    "I’m not thrilled," Trump told CNBC. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again… I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best."

    On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell affirmed that the Fed will continue to gradually raise interest rates, after increasing them twice already in 2018.

    Trump said his administration does a lot of work for the economy, yet the rates keep going up. The US president added that while he wants to rebuild the American economy, US competitors such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan keep loose monetary policy.

    In 2008, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.25 percent as part of its response to an economic recession. The Fed began gradually raising interest rates in December 2015 and has hiked its benchmark a total of seven times since then and has indicated that it plans for two more rate increases this year.

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