This weekend’s G7 conference in France could be in for a “bumpy ride” after a week of volatility both in the U.S. markets and abroad, host of Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace said Friday.
Appearing on “America’s Newsroom,” Wallace reacted to President Donald Trump’s latest tweetstorm attacking the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome “Jay” Powell and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy: Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” the president wrote Friday. “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them... 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. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon.”
He added later that he would order all carriers—naming FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service — “to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!).”
UPS responded Friday afternoon via Twitter stating that, “UPS takes a multi-layered approach to security and compliance to identify and prevent delivery of illegal Fentanyl and other illicit substances as well as any other attempts of noncompliant shipments. We work closely with all law enforcement agencies to identify and remove all illegal and counterfeit shipments coming in from abroad.”
Shortly afterward, a FedEx spokesperson sent out a statement: “FedEx already has extensive security measures in place to prevent the use of our networks for illegal purposes. We follow the laws and regulations everywhere we do business and have a long history of close cooperation with authorities. FedEx supported passage of the STOP Act and encourages accelerated implementation and enforcement of its provisions to protect the health and safety of the American people.”
“The 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,” Wallace told Smith. “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 can impose tariffs or make it economically untenable but I don’t think he can sit there and order the CEO or the board.
“And, my guess is that most people in this country wouldn’t want to see a president be able to do this,” he theorized.
In addition, Wallace noted that the president’s comments come in the midst of a contentious blow-for-blow trade war with China and “a legitimate concern about the strength of the economy whether or not we’re headed for a downturn.”
The U.S. announced it plans to impose 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods in two steps. On Friday, China announced new retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. products, sending markets reeling and the Dow sinking.
He noted that just last week on Fox News Sunday, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow was deflecting any pessimism and pumping up the economy saying, “don’t be afraid of optimism” and “things are going to be better than you think.”
“When you have the president of the United States sort of flailing around this way and ordering companies to move back to the U.S—and saying the head of the Federal Reserve is an enemy of the country—is that going to create more consumer confidence about the state of the economy or not?” Wallace mused.
“I talked to [White House trade adviser Peter] Navarro myself and he said exactly the same thing: that talks with China are on track…But, clearly the president isn’t responding well.”
“Hold onto your hats. This could be a bumpy ride this weekend at the G7 in Paris,” Wallace said.