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Photo: Twitter

President Trump may be serious about trying to push U.S. companies out of China, but businesses have already seen that getting out is easier said than done.

Driving the news: In renewing his call for companies to leave China in recent tweets, Trump cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law that was passed to allow a president to isolate rogue or criminal regimes.

  • It has been used mainly to combat state-sponsored terrorists, drug traffickers and "pariah states like Iran, Syria and North Korea," the New York Times notes.

What's happening: U.S. companies have been trying to move out of China to avoid the tariffs, but China has simply cornered too many markets. Firms have been setting up shop in China for 3 decades and megacompanies like Boeing, Apple, Intel and Nvidia generate major chunks of their revenue there.

  • China also has developed a pipeline of engineers, data scientists and other specialists that is unrivaled even by developed countries like the U.S. and Western Europe.
  • Combined with its size and growing middle class, it's not a market that companies can just leave.

Be smart: Some manufacturers have tried moving to Vietnam but have been stymied by a lack of specialized supply chains and Vietnam's tightening labor market, WSJ's Niharika Mandhana writes.

  • “You can’t just shift your business to Vietnam and expect to find what you’re looking for,” Wing Xu, operations director for Omnidex Group, which helps make products for U.S-based McLanahan Corp., told Mandhana.

Go deeper

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.