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Powerful, obscure law is basis for Trump 'order' on trade
By Zeke Miller
Saturday, August 24, 2019
BIARRITZ, France -- President Donald Trump is threatening to use the emergency authority granted by a powerful but obscure federal law to make good on his tweeted "order" to U.S. businesses to cut ties in China amid a spiraling trade war between the two nations.
China's announcement Friday that it was raising tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. imports sent Trump into a rage and White House aides scrambling for a response.
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Trump fired off on Twitter, declaring American companies "are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China." He later clarified that he was threatening to make use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in the trade war, raising questions about the wisdom and propriety of making the 1977 act, which has been used to target rogue regimes, terrorists, and drug traffickers, the newest weapon in the clash between the world's largest economies.
It would mark the latest grasp of authority by Trump, who has claimed widespread powers not sought by his predecessors despite his own past criticism of their use of executive powers.
"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," Trump tweeted late Friday. "Case closed!" ...
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