Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump claimed he has the "absolute right" to "order" US companies to stop doing business with China that would involve using his broad executive authority in a new and unprecedented way under a 1977 law.
On Friday, China unveiled a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods, the latest escalation in an on-going trade war that's putting a strain on the world's two largest economies. In response, Trump wrote on Twitter later Friday: "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."
NYT: "Less than five hours after President Trump appeared to waver in his threats to escalate a trade war with China, the White House insisted that the president had done no such thing and that his only regret was that he had not been more aggressive.
Speaking to reporters earlier Sunday morning, Mr. Trump was asked if he had second thoughts about ratcheting up tariffs and threats against China last week, in moves that rattled global stock markets.
“Yeah, sure, why not?” Mr. Trump replied. “Might as well. Might as well. I have second thoughts about everything.”
Mr. Trump added that “We’re getting along very well with China” and said that he did not expect to declare an emergency that could allow him to order American companies out of China, as he had suggested days earlier."