News analysis

Trump mixes national, economic security in hurting trade partners

WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump is increasingly blurring the line between America's national and economic security, enabling him to harness powerful tools meant to punish the world's worst global actors and redirect them at trading partners.

Over a few weeks, he has declared European and Japanese cars, Chinese telecom equipment and Mexican immigrants as national security threats. Those declarations have given him the authority to use Cold War powers to inflict pain through tariffs, government blacklists and other restrictions.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2019, with the headline 'Trump mixes national, economic security in hurting trade partners'. Print Edition | Subscribe