U.S. Companies Greet Latest Trump Tweets With Concern and Confusion

U.S. Companies Greet Latest Trump Tweets With Concern and Confusion, by Heather Somerville.

President Trump tweeted Friday that he “hereby ordered” U.S. companies doing business in China to explore relocating operations. He also tweeted late Friday afternoon that he would raise existing and planned tariffs on Chinese goods by 5 percentage points. …

After a tumultuous week for trade negotiations, top administration officials said the president didn’t order U.S. companies to leave China and has no plans to invoke emergency powers to force them to relocate their operations. …

Apple has explored shifting some of its production out of China, but it would take the iPhone maker years to cut ties with Chinese suppliers.

Under national emergency powers the US President might be able to order US companies out of China. But that’s not is really going on. Trump has re-framed the debate.

Previously, American companies had to justify to their shareholders why they weren’t moving to cheap low wage manufacturing in China. Now, they have to justify to fellow Americans why they are still doing business in China. All without any laws or regulations. Leadership.

Both sides of US politics pretty much agree that China has been ripping them off and to do something about it, so the change in attitudes towards China will stick.