Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Countable Explains: What’s a ‘Weak Dollar’?

by Countable | 1.25.18

What’s the story?

Speaking at a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said:

"A weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities."

What’s a ‘Weak Dollar’?

Basically, a weak dollar means that the U.S. dollar exchanges for fewer amounts of foreign currency. When you exchange dollars for, say, pesos, you’re "selling" your dollars and “buying” pesos.

Investopedia provided this example:

"The exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada has hovered between 0.7292 CAD/USD and 1.0252 CAD/USD. If the current exchange rate is at 0.7400 CAD/USD, the American dollar would be considered weak and the Canadian dollar strong."

Since President Donald Trump took office, the U.S. dollar has declined by 10 percent. Following Mnuchin’s comments, it dipped to a session low.

Is the U.S. Dollar Weak?

Depends who you ask.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to Mnuchin’s claim, telling reporters:

"Currently we have a very stable dollar because of how well the U.S. is doing, and it’s as powerful as it’s ever been. We believe in free-floating currency. The president has always believed in that."

And after making his initial comments, Mnuchin continued:

"Longer term, the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the U.S. economy and the fact that it is and will continue to be the primary currency in terms of the reserve currency."

The following day, Mnuchin said:

What do you think?

Should the U.S. dollar be a concern of the Treasury Secretary? Do you believe in a "free-floating currency"? Have you traveled to other countries and been affected by the weakened dollar? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: ImagePixel / iStock)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(32)
  • Phil
    01/25/2018
    ···

    This cabinet and president do not understand that we are and have been participating in an ever-evolving global marketplace since the 19th century. As technology evolves, some manufacturing jobs will not come back no matter what. Instead of trying (even it is just rhetorically) to take the country back to times when there were more jobs per capita, less population, less technology, and so on, we should be training people for the marketplace we are in and for the future. That would mean education. That’s one area that republicans piss me off; their apparent desire to put up barriers to the country’s progress and take the country backwards. It makes no sense.

    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
  • Gail
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Weak dollar. Weak President.

    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
  • Christopher
    01/25/2018
    ···

    The longer the Government resists the importance of fiscal responsibility and addressing the National Debt the certainty this will result in further devaluation of our currency and an increase in costs for imported goods. Perhaps the President and his Cabinet can explain this the next time they explain their economic policies.

    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
  • Justin
    01/25/2018
    ···

    In other words people around the world are selling off US dollars ! (They don’t think it’s a safe bet) might have something to do with our state department or our loss of competent leadership?

    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
  • David
    01/25/2018
    ···

    The Secretary of the Treasury says the “dollar is not a concern of mine”? Kind of speaks for itself doesn’t it.

    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
  • RadicalModerate
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Money is your god. Gasp?!? Yes. You believe in money. You justify horrible actions to attain money. You send warriors across the globe to spread the foul doctrine of free market capitalism. If you go to church on Sunday and work Monday through Friday to spend your weekly grace on Saturday, money is your god. I’d rather be a poor atheist.

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • CMGigliotti
    01/25/2018
    ···

    The strength or weakness of the USD in the global market should be among the Treasury Secretary’s top priorities. We need our currency to be competitive if we are to remain relevant in foreign trade pursuits.

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Please Call Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama for Answer....🤑

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • Wallace
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Why does this fit in with making America great! A weak dollar should not be encouraged in the U.S. ? Our economy may be hurt!! This administration is composed of clowns!!!

    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
  • Patrick
    01/25/2018
    ···

    Trump railed against China for a year accusing them of intentionally undervalueing their currency for the same reason. But it's okay for the US to influence trade deficits using the very same tactics. Hypocritical Asshole.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Donna
    01/26/2018
    ···

    First of all, I don't believe anything said by Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She stands at the podium in front of the seal of the White House of the United States and either lies, ridicules journalists or spreads obvious propaganda, sometimes all three at once. As usual, this administration is acting in the short-term only. Has DJT or his daughter considered what a weak dollar will do to the cost of all their products manufactured overseas? I didn't think so. Mnuchin should go back to Hollywood and produce forgettable movies before he takes a perfectly good recovering economy and blows it to hell.

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • KansasTamale
    01/26/2018
    ···

    Our dollar is weak because we have a Trump & Bunch running this country with no strategy or thoughts behind anything. Friends can no longer trust us and enemies are rubbing their hands together gleefully. The people in the US don’t know how to act and are afraid constantly Trump will pop off and get us into nuclear war. He needs to be stopped or we are going to be in a recession/ depression again.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joshua
    01/25/2018
    ···

    "What's a weak dollar?" The economy under the Donald. 🥁

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Darby
    01/25/2018
    ···

    The United Nations needs to come up with a universal deal where countries use their own currency and it works universally in all UN nations. Example: USD could be used in CAN as well as any other UN nations and not be affected. The only agency that would have to do exchanges would be the respective nations treasury. That way individuals can go to other nations and not have to worry about money exchanges.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Cindy
    01/26/2018
    ···

    I’m in the middle income category. I’ve read the pros & cons of the weak dollar. I did not vote Trump, nor am I a fan of his ego. However, 2017 has been the best year ever for stocks. I consider that fabulous! The prior years were mostly losses with little gain. If we can provide more exports than imports, it means we are putting Americans to work. I don’t care if the wealthy get tax breaks, as long as, people have the opportunity to earn a living instead of collecting unemployment or public aid. In this way, we are better able to get back on our feet and help ourselves. Think of the money saved and used for education, infrastructure, etc.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • kbondee
    01/26/2018
    ···

    A strong American dollar is important especially if we have the power to effect it. Traveling abroad is essential to an accurate American experience regardless of at what point the individual decides to venture beyond the US. A strong dollar adds security and the incentive to return “home” from such excursions.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Matthew
    01/27/2018
    ···

    God what a joke our country is. The cult of the Manchurian deserves to be conned at this point, but the majority of the country does not.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Marc
    01/26/2018
    ···

    Don’t think he understands basic economics. I can’t imagine what the majority of attendees at Davos are thinking. Then he had to be corrected by staff.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Stephen
    01/26/2018
    ···

    The only thing that should concern us about the dollar is that it is completely arbitrary in value.

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Celestine
    01/27/2018
    ···

    Be concerned about the weakening of the American dollar. I’ve always traveled to other countries and people would beg to exchange their currency with the American dollar, Canadians included. So stand up for our currency. Soon the dollar will be less then a peso or yen

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share