The discussion of the Trump administration's view of the value of the dollar by Neil Irwin is somewhat confused. Irwin wrongly asserts that Treasury secretarys have always argued for a strong dollar:

"If you asked the Treasury secretary his view of the dollar, the answer would be equally rote: 'A strong dollar is in the interest of the United States.'"

This is not true. There have been many occasions in the past when Treasury secretaries have quite openly worked to bring down the value of the dollar. In the mid-1980s, Reagan's Treasury secretary James Baker met with his counterparts in major trading partners to negotiate a decline in the value of the dollar in the Plaza Accord. The point was quite explicitly to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

There was a similar story in the early years of the Clinton administration. A main goal of his deficit reduction package was to lower the value of the dollar, thereby reducing the U.S. trade deficit. Lloyd Bentsen, Clinton's first Treasury secretary indicated he was content to see the dollar fall in response to the decline in interest rates in the United States.

The strong-dollar policy began with Robert Rubin becoming Treasury secretary. This led to an explosion in the U.S. trade deficit and the massive imbalances that led to the housing bubble and the Great Recession that followed its collapse. So, a strong dollar hardly has a solid pedigree either in economic theory or reality.

The piece also perversely warns that is a border adjustment tax isn't fully offset by a rise in the value of the dollar:

"...the tax would hit American consumers and retailers hard."

If the Trump administration wants the dollar to fall then it must have the intention of increasing import prices. This generally doesn't "hit American consumers and retailers hard" because the net effect on the price of most items they buy is limited. (Recall the huge rise in prices associated with the 30 percent drop in the dollar from 2002 to 2008? Yeah, no one else does either.)

In other words, higher import prices is a feature, not a bug. It is a necessary aspect of a policy intended to reduce the trade deficit and create more jobs in manufacturing.