U.S.’s Pritzker Says Rising Dollar ‘Something to Keep an Eye On’

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said the impact of a rising dollar on exports and economic growth bears monitoring.

Asked at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, whether a climbing greenback could drag down U.S. trade and economic expansion, Pritzker said “it’s a factor and something to keep an eye on.”

The dollar has gained about 16 percent against the euro and 13 percent versus the yen in the past year as the U.S. economy has gained momentum even as the global economy has slowed. Delegates to the Davos conference including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn and Carlyle Group LP co-founder David Rubenstein have said its rise could soon weigh on the U.S. economy.

Pritzker said the challenge was to ensure U.S. businesses could be innovative and productive enough to attract demand regardless of the vagaries of currencies or the world economy.

“We need to have the ability to trade around the world and the ups and downs of either the dollar or the global growth trajectory, those are going to change year in and year out,” she said. “What we have to do is be prepared and have our businesses in a position where they can take advantage of opportunities.”

Pritzker also praised the European Central Bank’s decision announced earlier today to buy government bonds in an asset-purchase program worth at least 1.1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion).

“It’s good for Europe that they’re doing this stimulus,” she said. “It’s good for the world economy. We can’t have Europe in the situation they find themselves in.”

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