Trump's Interference with Social Media App TikTok
By: Rhea Agrawal
President Trump continuously inserts himself in the affairs of corporations, the app Tik Tok being his latest target. Trump declared that if an American company does not buy Tik Tok by September 15, then the app will be banned in the United States.
Tik Tok is a Chinese-owned social media app that is currently under fire from the government as it could possibly be allowing the Chinese government access to information about American users. President Trump announced that he would ban the app, but quickly reversed his statement while making a new ultimatum; the app still had a chance of being banned, but it would be safe if Microsoft or another American company chose to buy it.
Many of Trump’s aides advised him against the ban because it could result in a severe legal conflict and could tarnish his popularity with younger citizens as the app has over 100 million users in the United States.
As China would gain money from the deal, the President also proclaimed that the U.S. should receive money in return for proposing the idea for the deal.
“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen,” he said. “The United States should be reimbursed, or should be paid a substantial amount of money,” Mr. Trump also said, “because without the United States, they don’t have anything.”
“China presents serious security and economic challenges,” said Daniel Price, President George W.Bush’s former economic adviser. “But Trump’s erratic oscillation from adoration to demonization has certainly harmed U.S. business interests, and actually diminished our ability to influence China or rally allies to assist in that effort.”
Past presidents have not really delved too deep into the economy or interfere much with it, but Trump has taken a different course. He often interferes by degrading or praising corporations to try and hold authority over the companies and pressure them into doing what he wants. In the past, he criticized Carrier and General Motors for closing some of their plants, battered Boeing to lower their sales prices, and used companies as bargaining chips for negotiations.
President Trump has confronted a few companies simply for being personally irritated with them. His hostility towards many news organizations such as CNN and Washington Post has caused him to frequently threaten interference with their operations, and if companies failed to meet his demands, he criticized and attacked them.
The fate of Tik Tok still hangs in the air and it is safe to assume that it won’t be the last company pursued by President Trump.