spoke with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in May just one week after publicly criticizing the central bank chief’s response to Chinese government stimulus measures.
The two men spoke for five minutes on the evening of May 20 from 4:42 p.m. to 4:47 p.m., according to Powell’s May calendar, which the Fed published Friday.
The conversation followed a call from Trump for Powell, a frequent target of criticism from the White House, to “match” the Chinese stimulus efforts.
“China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing. If the Federal Reserve ever did a “match,” it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!” Trump tweeted on May 14.
China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing. If the Federal Reserve ever did a “match,” it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2019
Fed spokesman David Skidmore declined to comment on the call’s content.
Powell has faced an avalanche of criticism from Trump. The White House has repeatedly urged the Fed to lower interest rates, saying Powell’s refusal to do so is hindering economic progress.
“But we don’t have a Fed that knows what they’re doing, so it’s one of those little things. But if we had a Fed that would lower rates, you would have a rocket ship,” Trump told reporters Friday.
The Fed held steady on rates at the June meeting of its policy-setting board but has indicated that it is ready to cut rates if it sees more signs of a slowing economy.
The next rate-setting meeting will take place at the end of this month in Washington.
Trump and Powell have spoken at least three times since the president nominated him to the top Fed post in November 2017. According to Bloomberg, Trump called Powell on April 11 of this year, the same day the Fed chair told Democratic lawmakers he would guard the central bank from political pressure. The two also spoke on March 8 as stocks sharply fell over concerns about the U.S. job market.