What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump said via Twitter on Aug. 23 that he has the authority to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 (IEEPA) as a tool against China to bar companies from doing business in the country and from purchasing Chinese goods.
Why It Matters: Trump's comments suggest that the issue of invoking the IEEPA may have been discussed with members of his team on Aug. 23 before he announced a tariff hike on Chinese imports, although such a move could face significant constraints.
Background: Trump said via Twitter on Aug. 23 that he ordered U.S. companies to explore alternatives to China, although the president refrained from an official order to prevent U.S. firms from doing business with China.
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- U.S., China: Trump's Tariff Tweets Escalate a Mammoth Trade War (Aug. 1, 2019)