As he arrived in France for the annual meeting of the Group of 7 powers, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law originally meant to enable a president to isolate criminal regimes, not sever economic ties with a major trading partner over a tariff dispute.
“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Case closed!”
Case open, actually, The IEEPA clearly states it must be “an extraordinary threat,” and that the president must “declare a national emergency” to be granted such authority. It’s ludicrous to think that disagreements with our trading partners over tariffs fall under this law.
SEC. 201. This title may be cited as the “International Emergency Economic Powers Act”.
SITUATIONS IN WHICH AUTHORITIES MAY BE EXERCISED
SEC. 202. (a) Any authority granted to the President by section 203 may be exercised to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.
(b) The authorities granted to the President by section 203 may only be exercised to deal with an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared for pur- poses of this title and may not be exercised for any other purpose. Any exercise of such authorities to deal with any new threat shall be based on a new declaration of national emergency which must be with respect to such threat.
And as expected, not a word from the GOP with regards to Trump’s latest authoritarian power grab. Only crickets interrupt the Republican silence that enables this “president.” Sadly, former Republican congressman and vocal Trump critic Joe Walsh, who I don’t agree with 99.9% of the time, was one of the few on the right to make a good, obvious point.
I’m going to retweet this every single day:
If Barack Obama had “hereby ordered” private companies to do anything, every Republican & Conservative in America would have completely lost their shit.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 24, 2019
By citing laws that have absolutely nothing to do with the demand that American businesses exit China, Trump is once again testing the boundaries of our laws. Why? To justify yet another authoritarian attempt by this “president” to bypass them.