- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2019

A fuming President Trump “ordered” U.S. companies Friday to start moving out of China, after the Asian superpower announced plans to impose additional tariffs of $75 billion on U.S. products.

The levies will hit American soybeans, automobiles and oil in retaliation for Mr. Trump’s latest impending tariffs on their own goods, prompting a furious response from the White House.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far 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,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

“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,” he added.

Mr. Trump also said he wants shipping entities such as FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and Amazon to “search for and refuse” packages that contain illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that often comes from China.

“President Xi said this would stop — it didn’t,” Mr. Trump wrote, referring to Mr. Xi’s promise to schedule the drug and crack down on clandestine labs in China.

Mr. Trump said he planned to offer a more formal response Friday to China’s moves, though it was unclear what form it would take.

China’s finance ministry said some of the new tariffs on American goods will take effect Sept. 1, with the rest starting on Dec. 15. Mr. Trump has announced the same dates for imposing 10% tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Beijing will slap an extra 5% tariff next month on U.S. soybeans and crude oil, and go forward with a suspended additional 25% tariff on cars on Dec. 15. Some vehicles will be the target of another 10% levy.

China also will impose an extra 10% tariff on pork.

Beijing’s announcement came shortly before U.S. stock markets opened. The Dow Jones Industrial average had fallen over 500 points as of 3 p.m. Friday.
Mr. Trump, who’s known to watch the markets closely, made an odd stab at humor by tying the sell-off to the Democratic primary field.

“The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!” the president tweeted.

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