Trump berates Fed for putting US at 'competitive disadvantage'

President Trump railed against the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, reigniting his criticism that policymakers at the U.S. central bank raised interest rates too high, too quickly.

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"We are competing against these other countries, nonetheless, and the Federal Reserve doesn't let us play the game," Trump said during a speech at the Economic Club of New York. "It puts us at an economic disadvantage."

He continued that since he became president, the S&P 500 is up more than 45 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 50 percent and the Nasdaq Composite is up 60 percent. If the Fed had lowered the interbank lending rate more quickly, Trump claimed, those numbers would be even higher.

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"If we had a Federal Reserve that worked with us, you could've added another 25 percent to each of those numbers, I guarantee you that," he said.

At the end of October, the Fed cut rates by a quarter-percentage point for the third time this year to cushion the economy against the U.S.-China trade dispute and a global growth slowdown, but signaled that it will take a wait-and-see approach before moving rates again.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

"We believe monetary policy is in a good place," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said during a press conference.

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From 2015 to 2018, the Fed voted to hike rates nine times -- much to the ire of Trump, a frequent and vocal critic of both the central bank and Powell, whom he nominated.

As recently as last December, Trump reportedly suggested firing Powell after the Fed raised interest rates for the fourth time that year.

“But we all make mistakes, don’t we?” the president said on Tuesday. “Not too often. We do make them on occasion.”

It was unclear whether he was referring to his nomination of Powell, or Powell's decision-making as Fed chief.

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