On Friday, furiously responding at China for announcing earlier in the day that it would impose tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. products, President Trump appealed to American companies doing business with China, tweeting, “Start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”
Trump stated on Twitter:
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. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. 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.
He continued, “I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States.”
Then Trump turned to the Fentanyl that was exported from China to America, adding, “Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop — it didn’t. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!”
The Daily Mail reported, “The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday the tariffs of 10% and 5% take effect on two batches of goods Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 but gave no details on what imports would be affected. Trump previously announced plans to raise tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports on Sept. 1 but postponed a portion of that to Dec. 15.”
William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Washington Post, “The reality is many companies have been thinking about leaving, anyway. Labor costs are going up in China, the regime is repressive, and American companies continue to suffer discrimination.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, “I think that’s typical Trump, kind of over the top. He can’t order anybody and he knows that. … I think he’s pushing as hard as he can to get the Chinese to take what we’re doing seriously,” The Wall Street Journal reported. Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Journal, “The president does not have the authority to tell companies what to do. He can provide guidance, he can provide his own thoughts, but U.S. companies are going to continue to invest and do business with China because it’s too important a market.” The Journal added, “Mr. Trump can’t directly prevent American companies from doing business in China, trade lawyers say, but he can further penalize production in China with the use of more tariffs or higher tariff rates.”