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Trump Threatens To Pull Out Of WTO, Praises Powell, Says Sessions Safe For Now

During a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg in The Oval Office, President Trump covered everything from AG Jeff Sessions’ job stability to tax cuts for investors and his view on The Fed.

Via Bloomberg,

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t regret appointing Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chairman, even after criticizing interest rate increases by the central bank.

“I put a man in there who I like and respect,” Trump said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office.

Trump also says the Fed should help him in his trade disputes with China, the EU and other nations, asserting that other central banks are assisting their countries.

“We are not being accommodated,” he said Thursday. “I don’t like that.”

“That being said,” he continued, “I’m not sure the currency should be controlled by a politician.”

No indeed Mr. President (ask Mugabe and Maduro how that worked out).

President Trump then switched to another issue that has been recently on his mind, noting that many people see an “antitrust situation” with Google, Facebook and Amazon but repeatedly declined to comment on if he wants to break up the companies.

Trump reiterated his criticism of the companies Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House:

“I mean look, the conservatives have been treated very unfairly”

President Trump also added that he would pull out of the World Trade Organization if it doesn’t treat the U.S. better, continuing his criticism of a cornerstone of the international trading system.

“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House.

A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would severely undermine the post-World War II multilateral trading system that the U.S. helped build. Trump said last month that the U.S. is at a big disadvantage from being treated “very badly” by the WTO for many years and that the Geneva-based body needs to “change their ways.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said allowing China into the WTO in 2001 was a mistake.

Perhaps most notably, however, President Trump said he’s considering indexing capital gains to inflation, a change that would amount to a tax cut for investors.

“I’m thinking about it,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News.

The change would slash tax bills for investors when selling assets they have capital gains on — such as stock or real estate — by adjusting the original purchase price for inflation. The change has been a longtime goal of Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who says the policy would spur job creation and economic growth because people wouldn’t be taxed on phantom income.

Further, on the topic of trade, just hours after Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told European Parliament lawmakers that the EU would be “willing to bring down even our car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the U.S. does the same,” Trump rejected a European Union offer to scrap tariffs on cars, likening the bloc’s trade policies to those of China.

“It’s not good enough,” Trump said of the offer from Brussels during an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News.

“Their consumer habits are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars.”

Trump compared the EU to China, where the president is engaged in another escalating trade war.

“The European Union is almost as bad as China, just smaller,” Trump said.

And finally, President Trump said Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s job is safe at least until the midterm elections in November.

“I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News.

Asked if he’d keep Sessions beyond November, he declined to comment.