White House Signals 'No Change' In Dollar Policy

By Agence France-Presse White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said May 7 that Washington had made no change to its policy on exchange rates, widely viewed as a strong-dollar policy. "Administration officials are studying the Federal Reserve thinking on this matter," Fleischer said, adding, "It is one of the many areas in the economy that gets reviewed on a regular basis." The dollar fell to a four-year low against the euro on Tuesday amid concerns over U.S. economic weakness and a possible cut in U.S. interest rates. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary John Snow said he believes in a strong dollar but stressed the primacy of market forces in setting the exchange rate. Since he took office earlier this year, there has been talk that Snow favors a more laissez-faire approach to the currency. For businesses that export, a weaker dollar makes their products more competitive overseas, but some experts note that a weak dollar can have harmful economic effects, including fueling inflation. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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