Trump's Sanctions Meet His Trade War

President Trump’s sanctions against Iran have intersected with his trade war against China. The intersection comes in the form of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive with Huawei Technologies, one of the most prominent companies in China. Meng was arrested by Canadian officials on the request of U.S. officials as she was changing planes in Vancouver.

U.S. officials are now seeking Meng’s extradition to face criminal charges in the United States. The charges? Get this: They are alleging that she violated Trump’s sanctions against Iran.

What? Meng isn’t a U.S. citizen. What does she have to do with Trump’s sanctions against Iran?

Well, you see, when the U.S. government imposes sanctions on a foreign country, it expects not just U.S. citizens to comply with its dictates. It expects everyone in the world to comply with its dictates. That’s how the U.S. worldwide empire operates. The empire has worldwide jurisdiction. Its criminal laws apply to everyone in the world. Our country’s ruler issues the orders, and everyone in the world must obey or face the prospect of being arrested, brought to the United States, and placed in a federal penitentiary.

Meng’s arrest, of course, cannot be divorced from Trump’s trade war against China. By arresting Meng, Trump, the self-labeled “Tariff Man,” is obviously upping the ante in his trade war to bring further pressure to bear on China to succumb to his trade demands.

That might happen. But it is also possible that something else might happen. Executives of major U.S. companies who travel to China now might well find themselves in the same straits that Meng finds herself. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of U.S. businessmen suddenly find reasons not to travel to China.

How can any of this Trumpian nonsense be considered good for the American people? How can it possibly be reconciled with the principles of a free society?

It is not the job of the president of the United States to be a negotiator or agent for U.S. businesses. It is not his job to rectify any trade injustices in foreign countries. If American businessmen don’t like the trade conditions in some foreign country, there is a simple remedy: Negotiate better terms or just stay out of that country. No American businessman needs for Trump to be his daddy and to wage trade wars on his behalf.

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Originally published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and ...

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Gary Anderson 2 months ago Contributor's comment

I am glad the Libertarians have joined in to oppose "Trumpian nonsense".