Trump orders U.S. companies to "start looking for alternatives" to China

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

President Donald Trump is ordering U.S. businesses to "immediately start looking for an alternative to China," including bringing their manufacturing back to the U.S. The president issued the directive in a series of tweets on Friday morning after China hiked tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. products.

Mr. Trump's tweets heighten trade tensions between the world's biggest economies, with China's latest countermeasures coming in retaliation for planned U.S. tariff hikes on roughly $300 billion in Chinese imports planned for next month and in December.

"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," Mr. Trump tweeted. "I will be responding to China's Tariffs this afternoon."

….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. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

Mr. Trump added he is "ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,….all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop – it didn't."

Trending News

Investors, jittery over the trade war's impact on the global economy sent U.S. markets sharply lower after Mr. Trump's tweets. The Dow dropped almost 360 points, or 1.4%, to 25,894, while the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq each fell more than 1%.

China's move to hike tariffs on U.S. imports represents "another tit-for-tat move and could increase the risk that President Trump will decide to raise the recent tariffs from 10% up to 25%," said Brian Rose, senior Americas economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a research note. "In our view, 25% tariffs would cause considerable economic damage and greatly increase the probability of a US recession in 2020."

First published on August 23, 2019 / 11:49 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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