Trump signs executive orders to ramp up trade enforcement

President Donald Trump on Friday vowed to root out unfair trade practices around the world and target countries that contribute to America's substantial trade deficit.

In one of them, Trump required the commerce secretary and the U.S. trade representative to prepare a report within 90 days, assessing the practices of USA trading partners contributing to the 500 billion USA dollars trade deficit the United States had in 2016 on a country-by-country and product-by-product basis.

One order focused on identifying potential foreign trade abuses, while another tightened the country's anti-dumping laws. But due to lack of enforcement, duties worth $2.8 billion have gone uncollected since 2001, Sean Spicer reported.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters that one of the orders directs his department and the US Trade Representative to conduct a major review of the causes of US trade deficits.

The orders direct the government to launch a large-scale study of the massive and persistent USA trade deficit and instruct regulators to strictly enforce US anti-dumping policies aimed at preventing foreign manufacturers from undercutting USA companies with unfairly low prices.

Beijing sought to play down tensions ahead of President Xi Jinping's first meeting with Trump next week.

The first, largely symbolic order, tasked officials to pinpoint "cheaters" - either countries or firms - who are responsible for America's almost $50 billion a month trade deficit. Listing various problem areas, Navarro said: "This is a big deal".

"Today's data shows there is much work to be done", said Ross in a statement, adding that the administration would in the coming months "renegotiate bad trade deals and bring renewed energy to trade enforcement in defense of all hard-working Americans".

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with US manufacturers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House yesterday.

The first of the two orders will require a report on the causes of the trade imbalance within 90 days. But a World Bank report contradicts that claim: The report found that the weighted average US tariff in 2012 was 1.6 percent. Ultimately, it could mean more jobs or job security in American manufacturing, but higher prices on goods across the nation.

The World Trade Association allows countries to charge countervailing duties on subsidized products that the country finds hurt its domestic imports. Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Taiwan and France figured in the list as well.

The president typically sits inside the Oval Office to sign orders while the press takes photos.

"India and the US must trade more in energy, generic pharma and defence if the intention is to bring down trade deficit". China leads the cohort with a $347 billion surplus.

Governance involves taking hard steps, said the United States president, adding that despite Facebook taking action against fake news, a lot of false stories and "alternative facts" were still being circulated on the site.

The trade review will touch upon a litany of American concerns about trade with India - inadequate protection of intellectual property, state subsidies and tariff and non-tariff barriers.

  • Leroy Wright