Biden knocks out Truss’ economic plan, says he’s not worried about dollar strength

PORTLAND, Oregon, Oct 15 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Saturday criticized British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ original economic plan as a mistake and said he was not concerned about the strength of the rising US dollar.

Truss on Friday sacked its finance minister Kwasi Koarting and canceled parts of the economic package after it sparked turmoil in financial markets, including a sharp drop in the value of the pound.

Biden, a Democrat, often criticizes the “volatile” conservative economic policies, associated in the United States with former President Ronald Reagan and Republicans.

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However, the White House previously declined to comment on Truss’ plan, which initially projected the removal of Britain’s highest income tax rate of 45%.

“I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a mistake,” Biden told reporters during a stop at an ice cream shop in Oregon, referring to Truss’ suggestion.

“I think the idea of ​​cutting taxes on the super-rich at a time – anyway, I just think – I disagreed with the policy, but it’s up to Great Britain to make that judgment, not me.”

Earlier on Saturday, Britain’s new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, said some taxes in the country would rise and tough spending decisions were needed, saying Truss had made mistakes as she struggled to keep her job after just over a month in office.

High inflation is afflicting the United States and countries around the world, creating a political headache for Biden ahead of the November midterm elections, in which control of the US House and Senate is at stake.

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The dollar rose against other currencies.

“I’m not worried about the strength of the dollar. I’m worried about the rest of the world,” Biden said.

The president said the US economy is strong.

“Our economy is as strong as hell – it’s internal. Inflation is all over the world. It’s worse elsewhere than it is in the United States,” he said.

“So the problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policies in other countries, not so much ours.”

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed US consumer prices rose more than expected in September as rents rose and the cost of food rose.

The president made the remarks at the end of a multi-day Western tour that concluded in Oregon, where he sought to give a political boost to Democrat Tina Kotik, who is running for governor.

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(Jeff Mason reports in Portland, Oregon); Additional reporting by Mike Stone in Washington. Editing by Sandra Mahler and Tom Hogg

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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