"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace told Sandra Smith Friday on "America’s Newsroom" that he has no explanation for why the president would tweet an "order" to American companies to stop doing business in China and wondered whether Trump thinks he has the authority to make such a demand.
"As best I can tell, the American president can’t order U.S. companies how they’re going to do their sales and where they’re going to have their supply chains," he said. "We have a free market, capitalist system. I don’t think a president can order a car company to move some of its factories from one place to another."
"He could impose tariffs or make it economically untenable," Wallace added. "But he can't sit there and order the CEO or the board -- and my guess is most people in this country wouldn't want to see the president be able to do this."
....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
....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. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
The DJIA plunged several hundred points immediately after these tweets were sent.
CHRIS WALLACE: We are just all learning of us at the same time, but as best I can tell, the American president can’t order U.S. companies how they’re going to do their sales and where they’re going to have their supply chains.
We have a free market, capitalist system. I don’t think a president can order a car company to move some of its factories from one place to another.
He could impose tariffs or make it economically untenable, but he can't sit there and order the CEO or the board -- and my guess is most people in this country wouldn't want to see the president be able to do this. We have to drill down on the statement, "who is a bigger enemy to this country? The head of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, who was appointed by President Trump, or Chinese President Xi?
SANDRA SMITH: Who he has called a friend and says they have a good relationship.
WALLACE: Yeah, exactly. It's interesting because this all comes amidst obvious concern and legitimate concern about the strength of the economy and whether or not we are headed for a downturn. No signs yet of a recession but certainly signs of a slowdown in growth, and one of the things that a lot of people in the White House have been saying just last week on "Fox News Sunday" that you have Larry Kudlow jaw-boning the economy and saying don't be afraid of optimism and things are going to be better than you think and the economy is strong. When you have the President of the United States flailing around this way and ordering companies to move back to the U.S. and saying that the head of the Federal Reserve is the enemy of the country, is not going to create more consumer confidence about the state of the economy or not?
SANDRA SMITH: ... So what do these tweets tell us about the state of negotiations with President Xi and China?
CHRIS WALLACE: Obviously not good. I know that Peter Navarro was here in the studio, one of the great things about working in the Fox bureau is you never know who is going to be walking down the hall, and I talked to Navarro myself and he said exactly the same thing, that talks with China are on track, not saying there's going to be an agreement anytime soon. He said they fully expected they were going to retaliate with their $75 billion in American goods that they will have tariffs on them.
But, clearly, the president isn't responding well to this and all of this is happening as the president is going to get on a plane at ten or eleven o'clock tonight to France for the G7. China is not a member, but remember last year when they were in Canada and the president blew up the conference disagreeing with all the other six economic partners on a number of issues, hold on to your hats, this could be a bumpy ride this weekend at the G7 in Paris.
Which leads me to a very good tease, we're going to have a live report from France on "Fox News Sunday" and also we're going to have an interview with a top White House official about all of that. So going to be a lot of interesting developments on the U.S. and global economy over the course of the next 48 hours.