BONN, NOV. 6 -- A senior West German Finance Ministry official, in an apparent rebuff to U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III, said today that "everyone" should hope to see an upturn in the value of the dollar.
Finance Ministry Secretary of State Hans Tietmeyer also hinted strongly that West Germany was unwilling to take additional steps to stimulate its economy even if the United States made progress in reducing its budget deficit.
Baker, in an interview published in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, said the Reagan administration was willing to accept a decline in the dollar if that were necessary to avoid high interest rates that could trigger a recession.
Tietmeyer, who is one of the top deputies of Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg, said in a radio interview, "Nobody can be interested in a confrontation. Nobody can be interested in seeing the dollar fall further. On the contrary, everyone should be interested in seeing it stabilize, and to a certain extent begin to rise again."
Baker said in the interview that, after completing budget-reduction negotiations with Congress, he hoped to reach an agreement with Bonn and Tokyo under which they would adopt additional measures to promote economic expansion.
Tietmeyer, however, indicated that West Germany and Japan merely would go ahead with "the policies that they have decided on and launched." For its part, West Germany would go ahead with an $8 billion tax cut scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, Tietmeyer said.
Calling for the U.S. budget deficit reduction process to be continued, Tietmeyer said: "When this has been ensured, I am certain that this will have an effect on the markets, because this will then emit confidence ... then the two big countries, Japan and West Germany, continue with the policies that they have decided on and launched... . I am convinced that that will then have a confidence-stabilizing effect on the exchange markets."
A West German government source, asked whether Bonn was receptive to Baker's proposal of a deal, affirmed previous statements that the government here had done all it can to promote growth without risking an unacceptable rise in inflation.
"The U.S. budget deficit is the key problem. We've done our part," the source said. He suggested that Baker's comments had "internal American aims" instead of being directed at the "international situation."
A drop in the dollar's value hurts West Germany by making its exports more expensive. About one-third of the West German economy depends on exports.
Bakers' comments helped drive the dollar to record lows against the West German mark this week.
A West German monetary official, who spoke on condition that he remain unidentified, called Baker's comments "disturbing" and said his policy risked causing inflation in the U.S. economy because a lower dollar raises the cost of imports.
"That's a dangerous path. It will enlarge the risk that inflationary fears will revive earlier than some people imagine. That would push interest rates upward, not downward" and cause a recession in the end anyway, the official said.
He also suggested that Baker's policy was politically motivated.
"In the year before an election, some politicians are willing to try recipes that others doubt will work," the official said.