Rosenberg: Trump’s new China tariffs won’t influence Fed
U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest tariff announcement on China may put the brakes on any further Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, according to Gluskin Sheff + Associates’ David Rosenberg.
“I guess you would say, well, it moves the needle toward another cut, but it’s more complicated than that,” said Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Thursday. Rosenberg’s comments come shortly after Trump’s mid-day announcement that the U.S. plans an additional 10 per cent tariffs on US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting in September.
“Even as of yesterday, we knew that that trade delegation from the U.S. that went to China didn’t come back with anything. There’s no ‘Kumbaya’ moment. I would just debate that the trade war was still intact yesterday and, in fact, was still intact an hour ago before this announcement was made.”
Trump put Fed Chair Jerome Powell on blast on Wednesday for cutting the U.S. central bank’s benchmark interest rate by a mere 25 basis points when some investors – and the president – expected a more drastic move. The president said Powell ‘let us down again,’ on Twitter Wednesday evening.
The Fed said in its statement on Wednesday that its first cut since the financial crisis was to “insure against downside risks.”
Rosenberg said that further action from Trump against China adds to geopolitical tensions, including Brexit, protests in Hong Kong and relations between China and Taiwan.
“It’s not as if, yesterday, the geopolitical backdrop globally was exactly looking that great, either,” Rosenberg said, adding he’s “a little surprised” that the Fed did not signal it plans to enter an easing cycle on Wednesday.
“The question I had was [for] these two dissenters at the Fed: What do they see that I don’t see?” Rosenberg asked.
“It’s not just them. There are a lot of people on the Fed that just don’t want to cut interest rates.”