President Trump managed to do an about-face on no less than three policies in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday—and he made what analysts say were highly unusual comments about the American dollar in the process. "I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that's my fault because people have confidence in me," Trump said, adding that while a strong dollar sounds good, it will "hurt ultimately." But despite his concerns about a strong dollar making it harder for American firms to compete, he did an about-face on his campaign promise to label China a currency manipulator, saying Beijing hasn't manipulated its currency for months, and he doesn't want to risk losing China's cooperation on North Korea.
The US dollar dropped sharply after Trump's comments, reports Bloomberg, which notes that other presidents have avoided commenting on the greenback's value to avoid causing major market movements. In the Journal interview, Trump also reversed his campaign policy on the federal Export-Import Bank, which insures foreign purchases of US goods, saying he now supports the institution because it helps small companies. During his campaign he said it was unnecessary. In a third policy shift, Trump signaled that he might appoint Fed chair Janet Yellen to another four-year term, "I do like a low-interest rate policy," he said. Reuters describes the comments as more evidence of Trump's "drift to the mainstream" on monetary policy.