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Powell Comments on Trade, Fed Independence  

July 12, 2018
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell touched on the nation's trade policy this afternoon, telling Marketplace in a radio interview that "it's very hard" to say how the administration's efforts will turn out but adding the consequences could be negative if tariffs are in place for a sustained period.

On politics and the central bank, Powell said the administration, which has been calling for patience in the Fed's rate-hike sequence, has not contacted him publicly or privately about keeping rates low. He said he has no concerns over the Fed's independence.

On the economy, Powell said the FOMC is "really close" to its target (stabilizing inflation at the 2 percent line) and that policy makers are looking carefully at "maximum employment" for the labor market. He added that the increase in government spending and this year's tax cut could give the economy a significant lift over the next several years.

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