William Dudley, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, answers a question, after addressing the Indian businessmen at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai, India May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
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Trade protectionism is a "dead end" that may score political points but will ultimately hurt the U.S. economy, one of the most influential Federal Reserve officials said Thursday in the central bank's strongest defense yet of open borders in the face of a skeptical Trump administration. William Dudley, head of the New York Fed, did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump by name in a speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange. While Fed officials usually avoid recommending fiscal policies, several have highlighted the benefits of open borders since Trump was elected on an "America First" platform of revamping or ripping up trade deals.The U.S. central bank has hiked interest rates twice since December and expects to tighten policy about two more times this year as the economy carries on a roughly 2-percent growth track, and as unemployment at 4.4 percent remains low.
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