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Fed's Kaplan concerned over tariff talks, not yet shifting outlook

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said March 23 that he is monitoring trade developments amid planned U.S. tariffs, but that the discussions so far are not affecting his outlook for the economy, Reuters reported.

Kaplan, who has said he supports three interest rate hikes in 2018, told reporters after an event in Austin that he is concerned about the tariffs' effects but that he is "going to counsel patience" and see how the events unfold, according to Reuters. Kaplan is not a voter this year on the Federal Open Market Committee.

President Donald Trump a day earlier announced up to $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting Chinese officials to say they could impose tariffs on U.S. products to retaliate. The Chinese ambassador to the U.S. also did not rule out the possibility of China trimming its purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. Those actions come on top of Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters March 21 that Fed officials have heard concerns from business leaders over the tariffs but have not yet changed their forecasts.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, meanwhile, said at a New York event March 23 that the issue may start getting more attention from the Fed if the actions escalate.