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12 Mar, 2020 03:54

Trump says trade will ‘in no way’ be affected by Europe travel ban in apparent about-face after markets crash

Trump says trade will ‘in no way’ be affected by Europe travel ban in apparent about-face after markets crash

US President Donald Trump said that trade in “no way” will be impacted by the 30-day Europe travel ban, despite saying less than an hour earlier the restrictive measures would apply to a “tremendous amount of trade and cargo.”

Trump has baffled traders and ordinary netizens after he took to Twitter in the wake of his national address earlier on Wednesday to assure the public that his order to suspend all travel from Europe pertains only to the movement of people, but not goods.

Very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.

The tweet raised more questions than answers, as Trump rather explicitly stated during his much-hyped address on the coronavirus that the temporary suspension of travel from Europe would have far-reaching consequences for trade as well.

“These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but to various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing,” Trump stated during the address which was broadcast live.

The White House soon clarified that the ban “only applies to human beings, not goods and cargo.”

Some blamed the turnaround on Trump’s difficulties with reading from a teleprompter during prepared remarks. The US president is known for his propensity to go off-script during official speeches and addresses.

The gaffe sparked panic on stock markets, which tanked on the news of the sweeping travel ban.

Some have suggested that Trump only backtracked on his original statement after he saw the stock futures tumbling, however, quickly reversing course in hopes of avoiding further economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

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