Trump Signs Orders Aimed at Trade Abuse

"The president is expected to issue two executive orders later today, outlined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on FoxNews (see below): "One order will commission the Commerce Department to do a 90-day study of countries and products to determine how to re-balance the total US "$500 billion" trade deficit with new policies.

"Thousands of factories have been stolen from our country, but these voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House".

The best outcome for the Trump administration, Dollar said, would be claiming "we talked tough to the Chinese and told them what to expect".

Now that he's in the White House, Trump's getting ready to do something about it.

Ross said he's "anxious" to get negotiations started on the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, pointing out Mexico's 2018 presidential elections.

"This is a story about under-collection of duties, this is a story about 40 countries that basically subsidise their products and send them into our country or dump their products, and this is about collecting those products and defending American workers and manufacturing", Navarro said.

Trump declared that the two orders would start a "great revival" for US manufacturing, repeating his campaign message that trade pacts have caused factory jobs to flow overseas.

Several economists said it's unlikely the planned report would address the broader economic forces behind the trade imbalance, since it would track trade deficits country-by-country and product-by-product.

Ross emphasized to reporters that his study will help the administration make more informed decisions on trade.

Flynn resigned from the job in February amid revelations he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

"What's driving it is that the USA has the lowest tariff rates and the lowest non-tariff barriers of any developed country".

"Nobody's ever made bad trade deals like our country's made", the president said.

The announcement says the United States must address the challenges to economic growth and employment that may arise from large and chronic trade deficits and the "unfair and discriminatory" trade practices of some of their trading partners.

The United States has long complained that WTO rules allow exports from other countries to be exempt from value-added taxes (VAT), but do not allow equivalent corporate income tax benefits for USA exporters. "Imports also provide high quality inputs for American businesses helping companies and their US employees become or remain highly competitive in both domestic and foreign markets".

Coupled together, the orders appear to be a symbolic shot at China, which accounted for the vast majority- $347 billion -of last year's $502 billion trade deficit. Trump and Xi have agreed to meet for an April 6-7 summit at the USA president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Yet when pressed on Thursday if these executive orders are meant to put China "on notice" or target the country, Ross and Navarro disagreed with those characterizations.

  • Zachary Reyes