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August 23, 2019 11:58 AM UTC

Trump "Orders" Americans to Stop Doing Business with China

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: [Sigh] From CNN:

Stocks finished a volatile trading day sharply in the red Friday, after a selloff driven by President Donald Trump’s response to new retaliatory tariffs from China and Fed policy.


“The Chosen One”

Fans of the classic movie, “The Princess Bride,” are well aware of the warning that you should “never get involved in a land war in Asia.” Getting involved in a trade war with China might be the applicable modern version.

President Trump famously claimed in March 2018 that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” But as the Washington Post reports today:

The trade war between the U.S. and China worsened Friday as Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in American goods and President Trump took the extraordinary step of calling on U.S. companies to stop doing business with China.

The new tariffs, which included reinstated levies on auto products, delivered a strategically timed blow as recession warning signs cast doubt on the strength of the U.S. economy.

Trump initially directed his ire at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell in Friday tweets, painting the Fed’s lack of monetary easing as a greater threat to American workers and businesses. But moments later, he said he would be responding to China’s tariffs later Friday and demanded American companies cut ties with China. [Pols emphasis]

That’s not a misprint. President Trump announced via Twitter today that American companies are “hereby ordered” to stop doing business with China. This is as absurd as it is unenforceable. As Brian Riedl of the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute tells the Post:

“I have no idea how the president thinks he can order companies to stop working with China. I’m baffled.”

Earlier this week Trump said triumphantly that he is “The Chosen One” who was, uh, chosen to fight this great trade war with China. Or maybe it was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell — who was appointed to that post by Trump himself — who is the real “Chosen One”:

Though he’ll never admit fault, President Trump has been slowly coming around to the reality that “winning” a trade war with China — a fight, remember, that Trump picked himself — could mean a whole lot of losing for the average American and may even drive the United States into a recession. As the Huffington Post explains:

On Tuesday, Trump seemed to acknowledge the turmoil on Wall Street, even as he argued the U.S. has “no choice but to” impose tariffs on goods made in China.

“My trade deals aren’t causing a problem. This is something that had to be done,” he said. “I could be sitting here right now with a stock market that would be up 10,000 points higher if I didn’t want to do it.”

In another tacit admission, Trump said his administration may offer some form of aid to U.S. companies like Apple that are struggling as a result of the trade war.

“If I didn’t help them, they would ― I mean, they would be ― they would have a big problem,” he added, without offering details about the form of assistance.

President Trump himself says he didn’t have to start this trade war with China that is literally killing American farmers and weakening an export-heavy economy here in Colorado. But he did, and now we’re all paying the price.

To quote Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma): “The President is going to continue to do what the President is going to continue to do.”


14 thoughts on “Trump “Orders” Americans to Stop Doing Business with China

    1. Catherine Rampell summed up the situation this way:

      If things go south, this administration doesn’t have a plan. It never had a plan. And it doesn’t have competent personnel in place to come up with a plan.

      Trump’s economic brain trust consists of a guy who plays an economist on TV, a crank who has been disowned by the (real) economics profession and the producer of “The Lego Batman Movie.”

  1. Not to worry, Trump will get us out of this just like he did with his casinos — declare bankruptcy and lay the debt off on the suckers that trusted him —  Oh wait!

  2. Trump is bringing his little pieces from the checkers board to the long-dimension big-boy economic chess match, and Jina knows it even if 35-40% of American voters somehow haven't caught on just yet.

  3. He could order his campaign to stop supplying all their swag from China.
    Or – his daughter's company, run by her while she's in his inner circle, to stop sourcing all her company's stuff in China.
    Or his companies.
    Or…DOD or other government agencies 

    or… etc

    Winning is hard.
    Thank god winning trade wars is easy

  4. One of the big shot corporate CEOs appeared on the news this morning. They are rattled by the Orange Destruction appearing to covet the command economy of the Chinese leader. When the president has the temerity to insinuate he can, and just might, start directly controlling their business decisions, they get very frightened, indeed. They DO NOT want to open that door.

    1. All the work those folks in particular did to put such a successful businessman into office, and now they don’t want any more of his help? . . . 

      . . . I guess maybe Ttump was right, and these ungrateful fuckers are finally just plumb tired  and wire out from all that winning?

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