Federal Reserve System

Mnuchin echoes Trump on hitting China with massive tariffs

Steven Mnuchin standing under a sign that details the U.S. National Debt.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin echoed President Trump's sentiment that the U.S. will possibly impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of goods imported from China, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The details: Trump said on Friday that he was "ready" to hit China with tariffs, inching the U.S. closer to a massive trade war. Mnuchin also said, while speaking before a meeting with G-20 finance ministers, that Trump "fully" supports independence of the Federal Reserve, after Trump complained about rising interest rates.

Trump pulls the Federal Reserve into his trade war

President Trump swiped at the Federal Reserve while criticizing China and the European Union in tweets on Friday, complaining that currency manipulation is "taking away our big competitive edge. ... As usual, not a level playing field."

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The trade war between the U.S. and other countries is shifting into a currency war. This is the second time this week Trump has roiled currency markets with comments about Fed policy. The dollar fell shortly after Trump's tweets.