Trump to nominate Fed critic for board. Here's what to know

By U.S. EconomyFOXBusiness

Trump: Fed rate hikes hurt the US economy

President Trump, in a wide-ranging exclusive interview on FOX Business said the US economy would have been in a better position if the Federal Reserve didn’t raise interest rates. He also discussed US-China trade negotiations and his feud with John McCain.

President Donald Trump on Friday said he would nominate former campaign economic advisor Stephen Moore a seat on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

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Moore is a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and visiting fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation who called in December 2018 for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to resign.

Trump offered Moore the position, but he must still clear the federal background check that potential nominees undergo before it can be formally announced, according to a senior administration official.

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Moore is a frequent critic of Powell, arguing as recently as last week that the Fed's interest rate hikes in 2018 restricted economic growth.

“These hikes caused a severe dollar shortage, a fall in commodity prices, and a rapid slowing of growth—accompanied by wild swings in the stock market,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal with co-author Louis Woodhill, an entrepreneur and angel investor. “The Fed’s goal should be to avoid excessively loose or tight money by seeking stable commodity prices.”

He wrote in a December 2018 commentary piece, however, that it is “doubtful” Trump has the ability to fire Powell, instead calling on him to resign.

“If not this, at least Powell should hold an emergency meeting of the Federal Reserve Board and immediately cancel the rate hikes. Better yet, the Fed should announce ways to inject money into the dollar-starved economy,” Moore wrote.

The Fed on Wednesday signaled it would hold off on any additional rate hikes in 2019. Still, Moore argued “the damage was done and growth hasn’t resumed," adding that commodity prices remain 10 percent below the level prior to a rate hike in September 2018.

Trump has also routinely criticized the Fed’s decision to raise rates, telling FOX Business on Thursday that the policies have hindered U.S. economic growth.

“The world is slowing, but we’re not slowing,” he said. “And frankly, if we didn't have somebody that would raise interest rates and do quantitative tightening, we would have been at over 4 [percent] instead of at 3.1 [percent].”

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Moore has disputed warnings from top economists that the U.S. economy is heading towards a recession, arguing that "the last people investors or employers should be listening to are the professional pessimists."

He's also been a strong advocate for Trump's trade negotiations with China and predicted that Wall Street will rally once a deal is made.

Moore has broke with Trump on some areas, particularly on calls for a 25 percent tariff on auto imports.

"Mr. Trump's heart is in the right place. He wants to save the U.S. auto industry and he wants to save American auto jobs," he wrote earlier this month. "Tariffs have almost never saved a domestic industry from decline."

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The news of the nomination was first reported by Bloomberg.

Blake Burman contributed to this report.