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Jordan Schneider on Trump and TikTok

Summary:
When I complain about the way that Trump is trying to extort money from TikTok, people say I know nothing about tech and should learn from experts like Jordan Schneider and Ben Thompson. OK, here’s Jordan Schneider: While I agree that TikTok could not continue to operate in the US while controlled by Bytedance, the method Trump going about executing this policy couldn’t be more counterproductive. Taking this step against Bytedance is a tough call. It means that any hope of enticing Chinese capital to continue investing in America is over, and life will get even harder for American firms trying to maintain a foothold on the mainland. More importantly, the optics of Trump demanding a, probably not even legal, finder’s fee to the Treasury are awful. I’m old enough to

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When I complain about the way that Trump is trying to extort money from TikTok, people say I know nothing about tech and should learn from experts like Jordan Schneider and Ben Thompson. OK, here’s Jordan Schneider:

While I agree that TikTok could not continue to operate in the US while controlled by Bytedance, the method Trump going about executing this policy couldn’t be more counterproductive. Taking this step against Bytedance is a tough call. It means that any hope of enticing Chinese capital to continue investing in America is over, and life will get even harder for American firms trying to maintain a foothold on the mainland. More importantly, the optics of Trump demanding a, probably not even legal, finder’s fee to the Treasury are awful. I’m old enough to remember way back when in 2016 America used to credibly preach the gospel of due process and rule of law around the world.. .

What’s the right way to handle concerns about the influence of foreign social media platforms? With repeatable and consistently enforced country-agnostic regulations that require both American and foreign firms to submit to the same verifiable standards for data privacy, algorithmic transparency, and content moderation.

But what we have now with Trump’s handling of TikTok combined with this ‘clean network’ nonsense from Pompeo is more damning to our global standing and ability to advocate for an open internet than anything Global Times could have dreamed up. Pompeo literally said “five cleans” as if he worked on the Chinese State Council when for god’s sake there are six cleans in the slide! It’s really not too much to ask that in this tech cold war Trump is marching America into he not at the same time gratuitously ape the worst aspects of the CCP.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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