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Trump has the power to ask companies to stop their business in China (Mnuchin)

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said Sunday that President Donald Trump has the power to ask US companies to stop doing business in China, but he “has not.”

Mnuchin answered a question by Fox News on the sidelines of his participation in the Group of Seven summit in France, that Trump has the “authority” to ask companies to leave China “under (the International Economic Emergency Law) if declared a state of emergency.”

The law dates back to 1977, but the secretary said Trump “did not.”

The law allows the US president to regulate foreign trade under an “unusual and extraordinary threat” originating abroad and affecting foreign policy, national security or the economy. He has never resorted to overturning scales in the face of trade disputes.

“I think what he said was to ask companies to start looking (for solutions) because we’re in a long trade war,” Mnuchin said.

US President Barack Obama’s economic adviser, Larry Kadlo, also confirmed Trump’s legal ability to force US companies to prevent doing business with China.

“What Trump has proposed to American companies … is to first think about moving your operations and supply chain out of China, and secondly, we want you to go home,” Cadlo told CNN.

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