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Op-ed Placement

A Weak Dollar Doesn’t Make a Strong Economy

Originally Published in Wall Street Journal on 8/9/17.

When Donald Trump was elected last November, the dollar rallied. Although the New Yorker had given mixed signals about currency policy throughout his presidential campaign, the price of an ounce of gold (historically the best proxy for the dollar’s value) closed the month down more than $100.

The greenback has since given back all its gains. Not only has it weakened against most foreign currencies, the price of gold has crawled back to where it was in the days before Mr. Trump’s election. None of this should come as a surprise to those who have been paying attention.

Presidents generally get the dollar they want. In Mr. Trump’s case, his comments since entering the White House have indicated his desire for a weaker currency. In April he concluded that the dollar “is getting too strong.” Last month he told this newspaper that he likes “a dollar that’s not too strong,” and that “lots of bad things happen with a strong dollar.”