President Trump used criminal extortion tactics and grossly expanded presidential powers when he demanded the sale of the Chinese company TikTok to an American company. Trump has asserted that TikTok cannot do business in America unless it is owned by a U.S. company.

Forcing a company to sell itself – or be cut off from one of its major markets – is an act of extraordinary government control over a private-sector company. It reeks of fascism – indirect government control of the means of production through domination of nominally private owners – and is antithetical to the principle of freedom upon which our country was founded.

This is a dangerous expansion of presidential powers. The President has no constitutional authority to block foreign corporations from doing business in the U.S., nor to extort international mergers.

Trump’s actions invite foreign retaliation against U.S. companies. Trump’s policy is also another dangerous step toward carving up the global internet into nationalist zones.

As President, I will support the rule of law and obey my constitutional oath of office. There will be no bullying of businesses under a Jorgensen administration. This will protect American companies from foreign retaliation and avoid the balkanization of the internet.