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If you thought Donald Trump used Twitter a lot during the election campaign, just wait until he’s no longer just President-elect. In just the past week, we’ve seen how Trump plans to use Twitter as a way of fixing the U.S. economy, one audacious tweet at a time.
1,000 jobs per tweet
One of the first economic initiatives that Trump unveiled via Twitter was his plan to save 1,000 jobs at Carrier, which was planning on moving those jobs to Mexico. But, as part of his “Make America Great” again platform, Trump has been dead set against any major U.S. company moving jobs abroad. So, he’s taken to Twitter to build buzz around his job savings strategy.
You can think of this as 1,000 jobs per tweet. Going forward, Trump has hinted that he’ll apply similar pressure on other U.S. companies thinking of taking their jobs abroad. He’s offered full warning via Twitter, hinting that there could be dire consequences for any U.S. company moving jobs out of hardworking states like Indiana.
Trump’s direct message to China
And that’s not all: it now looks like Trump plans to use Twitter as a bully pulpit to take on China. After admitting that he took a phone call with the head of Taiwan on December 2, Trump launched a tweet storm, defending his decision and positioning it as a way to apply pressure on China. The only problem, of course, is that even taking a phone call with Taiwan was breaking a 40-year foreign policy of “One China,” in which the U.S. might supply Taiwan with billions of dollars of weaponry, but wasn’t allowed to ever hint that Taiwan could break free of China’s grasp.
In short, Trump is going to use Twitter diplomacy to challenge China on trade. He’s basically served notice that the U.S. isn’t going to stand around, taking orders from China when it comes to economic matters. It’s just confusing, however, whether Trump’s Direct Message to China was some kind of formulated, planned strategy – or whether it was another of his infamous 3 a.m. tweets.
Boeing may no longer be a trending contractor
And, lastly, Trump has shown an inclination to take on the country’s biggest companies. His latest Twitter barbs have been aimed at Boeing, which Trump suggests is over billing the U.S. government for Air Force One. He even went so far as to suggest that the U.S. government might cancel Boeing’s Air Force One since it’s too expensive.
That, of course, is not what the stock market expects to hear: the world’s most powerful leader taking jabs at one of the biggest companies in the world via Twitter. Not surprisingly, the stock market panicked at the opening of trading on December 6, lopping off a full $2 off Boeing’s stock price with a single tweet (“Cancel order!”) before recovering.
This might seem like great fun for President-elect Trump: the ability to roil global markets with a single tweet. Keeping the 1,000 jobs in America in the case of Carrier was a clear political win, but the consequences of taking on China and Wall Street via Twitter are much less clear. If you thought business was boring, just wait until January 2017. The market could be whipsawed around like we’ve never seen it before, all at the whim of the world’s most powerful Twitter user.