So Now We Needed Another Ridiculous Executive Order About TikTok That Goes Beyond The President's Authority?

from the come-on-now dept

A week after issuing his first ridiculous executive order about TikTok, barring any transactions involving the company if it is still owned by ByteDance, President Trump decided he needed to issue a second executive order about TikTok, this one more directly ordering ByteDance to sell it. The authority used in this one is different. The first one was using the IEEPA, which is what Trump has used to claim "national security" reasons for imposing tariffs on China without Congressional approval. This time he's using 50 USC 4565, which allows the US treasury to block certain mergers, acquisitions and takeovers that might impact national security.

Except, here Trump is using that in reverse. ByteDance bought Musical.ly (and made it TikTok) two years ago. Trump didn't raise a peep at the time. To turn around now, two years later, and pretend that he can order the deal unwound is just silly.

Even if you don't trust ByteDance/TikTok, you should be absolutely concerned about this for multiple reasons: it's a clear and blatant abuse of power by the President. Allowing any President to just declare a foreign-owned company a problem and try to force it to sell to an American company is going to cause all sorts of long-term problems for the US. What's to stop foreign governments from doing the same to us? China is probably just itching to do something similar in retaliation. Second, to reach back two years and try to unwind a merger at this point based on this flimsy legal theory is just crazy as well. It's clear that this is nothing more than vindictiveness on the part of the President.

If there are real security issues with TikTok, then there should be due process. There should be investigations and evidence. Not just a childish, narcissistic President suddenly declaring that an entire company must be sold.

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Filed Under: china, donald trump, due process, executive order, merger review, retaliation
Companies: bytedance, tiktok


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Aug 2020 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re:

    ... do you seriously think that Trump would be freaking out over the company sharing data with US law enforcement?


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