Elizabeth Warren calls for ‘managing’ the dollar, and a new agency, to create jobs

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Elizabeth Warren waves to the crowd before speaking at an organizing event on Feb. 18, 2019 in Glendale, Calif.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is calling for the U.S. to manage the value of the dollar as part of a plan to boost American jobs, which also includes a new federal agency focused on job creation.

Warren, a Massachusetts senator, on Tuesday released what she called “a plan for economic patriotism” as well as a $2 trillion blueprint to help the U.S. lead the clean-energy sector.

In a post on Medium, Warren calls for “more actively managing our currency value to promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” Her position echoes that of President Donald Trump, who in a March speech said the dollar was too strong.

The Treasury Department is required to report to Congress twice a year on whether any countries are manipulating their currencies to gain trade advantages over the U.S. In the latest report, the Trump administration decided not to label China or other countries as currency manipulators, but put China and eight other countries on a monitoring list.

See: China is not a currency manipulator, U.S. finds.

Simon Lester, a trade-policy expert at the Cato Institute, said Warren’s proposal would mean the U.S. itself is engaging in currency manipulation.

The US will now engage in currency manipulation: “More actively managing our currency value to promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” 5/

– Simon Lester (@snlester) June 4, 2019

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index which is a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.07% at 97.21 in recent action. For the year to date it is up nearly 1.1%.

Warren is drawing about 8% support in the RealClearPolitics average of polls on the Democratic presidential primary, putting her in third place behind front-runner Joe Biden – who has nearly 35% – and runner-up Bernie Sanders, with about 17%.

Now see: As Biden commands lead in polls, these are the Democrats who are running for president.

Warren is visiting Michigan on Tuesday and Indiana on Wednesday.

She says that to “create and defend quality, sustainable American jobs,” she would establish a new agency called the Department of Economic Development that would replace the Commerce Department and consolidate other existing agencies like the U.S. Trade Representative and Small Business Administration.

The new agency would come up with what Warren called a national jobs strategy every four years, aimed at identifying opportunities and risks in the economy.