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Feel free to suggest edit. I am not from a English speaking country. Apologies for mistakes, if any

Linked below is an editorial from China Daily, and might not have so-called proofs. The question is inspired from that article. But I am not concluding the things written in that article are true.


Reference: US administration's smash and grab of TikTok will not be taken lying down: China Daily editorial

An excerpt from the reference:

After vowing to ban the popular short-video sharing app TikTok in the United States on Friday, the US president is reportedly weighing the advantages of allowing Microsoft to purchase its US operations. [...]

The tactic involves the president promising punishment for some perceived wrongdoing, followed by indications from other administration officials that the punishment might not be forthcoming. This is followed soon after by some close to the president saying that he intends to make good on his threat, sparking a sharp rise in tensions again. All with the aim of getting what the US administration wants.

What I understood from that:

A nation can, if it wishes threaten another country and take advantages.

What I am not saying:

US (or Trump administration) is doing that.

My question(s):

Are there any organisations which safeguard a nation against such threats for advantages by another nation?

Optionally, feel free to include any historical examples (if any).

  • The example with TikTok seems to be about controlling US interests inside the US ("selling its US operations"). Perhaps you can clarify what you're asking -- What allows foreign business to operate in the US? Or what trades/treaties allow that (things like TPP)? Or who enforces laws/fines (which government entities, or orgs like UN and IMF)? – BurnsBA Aug 5 at 13:27
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  • There used to be the League of Nations, which set out to prevent a repeat of WWI. It failed, not least because powerful nations did not want to be restrained.
  • Then there was the United Nations. Learning from history, they set up a Security Council where the most powerful nations of the time would have veto power, so that there would never be empty threats against them.
    During the Korean War, the USSR boycotted the meetings so that there was actually an UN force called to fight in Korea. They didn't repeat that mistake very often.

But that is about threat of military force, not economic force.

  • Some nations sign up to investor protection agreements as part of trade treaties. This should protect investors from random expropriation and sudden, adverse changes in regulations. Activists complain bitterly that such agreements may prevent improvements in environmental standards ("hey, I built that polluting factory when it was legal, now the state owes me lost profit").
  • However, states are free not to trade with other states.

The United States was free to ban the exports of microprocessors to the Soviet Union.

The Chinese were free to ban the export of antique pottery.

The TikTok case might be seen by China and by potential investors elsewhere as an unfriendly act, and some investors will surely take the increased risk into account in their business decisions.

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