Transcript for President Trump boasted about the economy on his way to France
We begin tonight with the major meeting of world leaders overseas, against a backdrop of rising global tensions. President trump and his wife Melania in France for that g-7 summit, as economic and political turbulence intensify the president today reinforcing his threat to force American businesses out of China, saying an obscure law backs him up, fueling worries about sending the global economy into recession. ABC news chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl, with the president in biarritz, starting us off tonight. Reporter: The president has arrived in France for a summit with America's most important economic allies amidst turmoil in the markets and worries about a global recession. But as he left Washington, he insisted he's not concerned. Our economy is doing great. We're having a little spat with China and we'll win it. We've put a lot of tariffs on China. Reporter: It was the president who spooked the markets by threatening to impose even more tariffs on China and issuing a bizarre order to American companies to stop doing business there. Then overnight on his way to France he threatened new tariffs on the French too. I don't want France going out and taxing our companies. Very unfair. And if they do that we'll be taxing their wine or doing something else. Reporter: That set the tone for what is expected to be a tense meeting in the coastal resort of biarritz, France. In his first meeting with the French president president trump signalled optimism. Everybody is getting along, and we can accomplish a lot this weekend. Reporter: But even before the president landed, the European union's top official criticized president trump on several fronts, including Iran, Russia, and tariffs, threatening to hit back at the U.S. The last thing we need and want is confrontation with our best ally, the United States. Reporter: The trade war with China alone is already hitting U.S. Consumers. Even before the new tariffs were announced yesterday, J.P. Morgan estimated American families will pay an average of $1,000 a year because of the higher tariffs on China. After the president tweeted Friday that he had, quote, hereby ordered American companies to stop dealing with China, the stock market tumbled more than 600 points. He said he wasn't concerned about that either. Not at all. Not at all. We're 25,000. So don't tell me about 600 points. Jonathan Karl traveling with the president. He joins us now from France. Jon, we heard the president ordered U.S. Companies to stop dealing with China. Now president trump's is doubling down saying there's a presidential powers act on the book that gives him that authority. Reporter: He said that today. He cited the 1977 law called the international emergency economic powers act. Tom, this law has never been used for anything remotely like what the president is talking about. If he tried to do it, congress could stop him. The bottom line is I see no indication that the administration is doing anything to prepare for such a move. As you know, this is a president who likes to make big threats as an negotiating tactic. Jonathan Karl from France tonight. Thank you.
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