President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for a weaker U.S. dollar in a bid to help U.S. exporters, but his recent trade policies, including the imposition of import tariffs on some Turkish goods, have had the opposite effect of strengthening the greenback.
The dollar this week rose to a 13-month high against a basket of currencies, getting an extra boost as emerging markets have sold off on concern about contagion from Turkey and investors sought a safehaven in the U.S. currency.
On August 10, Trump intensified the spat with Turkey over the detention in Turkey of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports. The move sent the Turkish lira to a record low against the dollar and spurred declines in other emerging market currencies.
The U.S. dollar has risen against major currencies for several months, with the dollar index .DXY up nearly 8 percent over the last four months. On Wednesday, the index hit a fresh 13-month high.
“In a lot of ways some of his actions have amplified this risk-off type of environment, which has ultimately helped the U.S. dollar strengthen in the near-term,” said Charles Tomes, senior investment analyst and trader at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.