Trump orders US companies to find an alternative to China
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday used a tweet to order U.S. companies to find an alternative to doing business with China, as he lashed out at Beijings latest round of retaliatory tariffs and pledged to respond to them later in the day.
It was unclear exactly what Trump meant with the order or how much force it has, but the tweets captured the presidents frustration as his escalating trade war with China weighs on the economy and heightens the risk of a recession during an election year.
“Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue,” Trump wrote. “I wont let that happen! We dont need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.”
He countinued, “The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to Chinas Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States.”
China on Friday announced a fresh round of tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods, threatening to exacerbate anxieties about a languishing global economy. The tariffs will range from 5 to 10 percent, Beijing said, and will go into effect in waves beginning Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.
Trump has pinned blame on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell while heralding what he says is a booming economy.
Chinas state-run news agency Xinhua quoted the countrys tariff commission Friday, which said the penalties were in response to levies threatened by the U.S. on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
“The U.S. measures have led to the continuous escalation of China-U.S. economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the U.S. and other countries, and have also seriously threatened the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade,” Beijing said.
The announcement from China was shortly followed by a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in which he said the central bank stands ready to do what is necessary to support the record-long U.S. economic expansion. But he did not signal that significant interest rate cuts will be coming soon, angering Trump.
“As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can speak without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work brilliantly with both, and the U.S. will do great,” Trump tweeted.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Chinas announcement of a fresh round of tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods was “well anticipated” | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
He then launched a personal attack on Powell, writing, “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”
Earlier on Friday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who provides a strong protectionist voice on U.S. trade talks within the Trump administration, denied that Chinas announcement caught the White House off guard and downplayed the impact of the move.
“This was a move that was well-signaled,” he told CNNs Jim Sciutto in an interview. “Its breaking news I guess, but it was well anticipated.”
Though he conceded the economy was slowing, Navarro blamed the Fed for slow-walking interest rate cuts, calling economic worries “a pure Federal Reserve effect on higher interest rates.”
Navarro was pressed on some business leaders admissions that the uncertainty because of the trade war was dampening investment, but he again blamed monetary policy emanating from the Fed.
“They cant make investments because the Fed raised interest rates too far, too fast — that policy — Fed policy is if you raise interest rates, you cut down investment and you cut down exports,” he argued.
Trump promised that his steep tariffs on ChiRead More – Source