President Trump defended his declaration on Friday that American companies were “hereby ordered” to find alternatives to manufacturing in China, claiming that the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act gave him the power to make such a pronouncement. Trump took aim at the press for questioning his authority to order businesses out of China, tweeting “For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!”
For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2019
Trump had previously cited the 1977 Act, which gives the president the power to regulate commerce during exceptional international crises, earlier Friday before departing for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in France. In a string of tweets Friday morning, the president said he was ordering U.S. companies to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” beginning with making their products in the United States “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,” Trump tweeted. His language drew a swift reaction on social media from those who mocked his formal decree. Prominent conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted Friday that Trump should be sent to Walter Reed Medical Center and his Cabinet should declare him unfit to be president following his declaration.
“I hereby order the White House staff to take @realDonaldTrump to Walter Reed, and to convene the cabinet under Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment,” he wrote, adding the trending hashtag “Iherebyorder.” The husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is a frequent critic of the president. A number of news outlets, in turn, published articles employing Trump’s formal language to question whether he had the authority to make such a command.
Trump “hereby” orders U.S. business out of China. Can he do that? https://t.co/zpHtZRwNdr
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 23, 2019
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 24, 2019
‘I hereby order’: Trump mocked for highly formal, meaningless decree https://t.co/x3ZfhbxKvh
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 23, 2019
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) August 24, 2019
Claude Barfield, an expert in international trade policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), told The Hill that Trump doesn’t have any authorities to direct U.S. companies to move their businesses to the United States. He called the tweets a clear example of Trump “popping off” and predicted his advisers would look to do damage control, especially if his remarks negatively impact the stock market. Jennifer Hillman, a Georgetown University law professor and trade expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post that Trump does not have the power to “duly order” companies out of China, but he does have the authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to prevent future transfers of funds to Beijing. Hillman added that Trump can only make such a move “if he has first made a lawful declaration that a national emergency exists,” noting that Congress could ultimately end the declaration. Reuters reported that, once Trump has declared such an emergency, the Act gives Trump broad powers to stop the activities of individual companies or whole economic sectors. The outlet noted that past presidents have invoked the law to freeze foreign governments’ assets. Still, some experts cautioned that doing so could trigger legal challenges in U.S. courts and risk unintended harm to the economy. Trump is facing mounting pressure over his mounting trade war with China, which economists have blamed in part for contributing to the weakening of the global economy and for causing uncertainty that has left the U.S. stock market volatile. Nick Bit: when they come to your house with an assault team and arranged to have you drugged ahead of time, no matter how many guns you have you will lose. They will confiscate EVERYTHING and torture you till you give up your passwords, bitcoin codes and reveal where your cash stash and gold are located…. and they will use the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 that the “Chosen One will use to declare an emergency! And then you will be very very sorry you elected this lunatic president and defended him as he demonstrates more and more every day he has no respect for the law and trashed the Constitution as he plots to become dictator