And consistent with Trump’s agenda of America-First economic nationalism, Trump will direct the administration to look at whether the legal frameworks of trade, including bilateral trade agreements and World Trade Organization actions, are working against the United States, Ross said.
The president noted that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will lead the review.
During his campaign trail, Trump had campaigned for revising the trade agreements for making it favourable to the American firms and workers.
Trump’s aides insist the timing is coincidental, but the administration is touting the moves as evidence of it taking an aggressive but analytical approach to closing a trade gap that is largely due to the influx of goods from China.
The one of the orders focuses on a major review of the reasons behind USA ever-growing deficit, as the other addresses issues of related to antidumping and countervailing duties.
Trump also directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to study the underlying causes of the USA trade deficit, which was about $500 billion a year ago.
He emphasised that the comprehensive report would be the first of its kind and would take an analytic deep dive into the issues the USA faces with its trading partners, said the report. Sources in the administration say the orders could allow Trump to avoid detailed trade discussions with the Chinese leader by citing the ongoing study.
The second executive order will strengthen the nation’s anti-dumping rules, in hopes of slowing how China and other nations dump their products onto the global market a lower rates than USA companies can match.
“We’re going to get these bad trade deals straightened out”, Trump said. In some cases, for instance, the USA simply can’t produce enough of a product to meet domestic demand.
The second executive order seeks to deal with what Peter Navarro, head of the National Trade Council, called the “long-festering problem of undercollection of anti-dumping and countervailing duties”. But a World Bank report contradicts that claim: The report found that the weighted average USA tariff in 2012 was 1.6 percent.
Briefing press minutes after the president sent out cryptic tweets about the coming China negotiation, Navarro said “nothing we’re saying tonight is about China”.
In a second executive order, Mr Trump will order the government to look at ways the USA can better recover trade duties on products that are subsidised by foreign governments or dumped on the U.S. market.
The announcement, which would come just days ahead of Trump’s first meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, is widely seen as targeting China.
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.
And there’s no getting around the fact the United States’ biggest trade deficit – $347 billion – is with China.
This is breaking news.