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Trump Orders U.S. Companies to Look for Alternatives to China

Trump Orders U.S. Companies to Look for Alternatives to China
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US President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Venezuelan American community at Florida International University Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, FL, on February 18, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald said Friday that American companies are “hereby ordered” to start looking for alternatives to China.

Trump was responding to news overnight that China was hiking tariffs on U.S. goods. The Chinese move caught the White House by surprise, according to a person familiar with the matter. As late as Thursday evening, U.S. officials were talking up the potential for expected September talks between the U.S. and China to make progress.

….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..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

….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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

Trump is meeting with U.S. trade officials in the White House Friday morning, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

Trump also struck a decidedly different tone about Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whom he normally describes in respectful and friendly terms. In a tweet, he asked “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chiarman Xi?”

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

Trump also said China had not lived up to promises to stop fentanyl shipments to the U.S. As a result, he said he was ordering FedEx, Amazon, UPS , and the U.S. Post Office search for and destroy any fentanyl in shipments from China.

The legal basis for Trump’s orders was not immediately clear. Trump said he would make an official announcement about trade with China Friday afternoon. The “order” may be a warning to U.S. companies that tariffs are going much higher, making manufacturing in China for U.S. markets prohibitively expensive.

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