President Donald Trump on Friday made the next move in his bid to reshape USA trade policy, signing two executive orders aimed at combating foreign trade abuses that contribute to the US’s half-trillion-dollar trade deficit.
“From now on those that break the rules will face the consequences”, Trump said.
However, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, during his interaction with White House reporters, insisted that the executive order expected to be signed on Friday is not just about China.
US President Donald Trump on Friday signed two executive orders in order to ramp up trade enforcement.
Echoing similar views, Peter Navarro, Director of White House National Trade Council, said, “Nothing we’re saying tonight is about China”.
Trump also directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to study the underlying causes of the USA trade deficit, which was about $500 billion previous year.
A “country-by-country, product-by-product” report will be prepared in 90 days that would form the basis of further measures that the Trump administration would take to reduce the country’s trade deficit.
The U.S. has a trade deficit – that’s importing more goods than it exports – running into hundreds of billions of dollars with China.
The U.S. has its biggest trade deficits with China, $347 billion; Japan $69 billion; Germany, $65 billion, and Mexico, $63 billion. The report will look to determine the extent to which the USA trade deficit is a factor of cheating, unfair trading practices and currency imbalances.
President Trump will be meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago next week.
Ross has promised tougher enforcement of US trade laws and more anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases initiated by the Commerce Department, rather than relying on companies to claim injuries from imports.
During the campaign, Trump blamed free trade deals for being a key cause of job losses and other American economic problems in an attempt to woo voters struggling with economic difficulties. Let’s not make this a China story. The inverse of a trade deficit is a trade surplus.
Democratic Ohio members of Congress who have called for a tougher stance on trade said Trump’s actions are inadequate.
“India and the US must trade more in energy, generic pharma and defence if the intention is to bring down trade deficit”.
Trump administration officials have said they plan tougher enforcement of usa trade remedy laws and will initiate more unilateral trade deals. These include trade abuses such as dumping goods below cost and unfair subsidies, “non-reciprocal” trade practices by other countries, and currencies that are “misaligned”.
The executive orders, however, may have rekindled fears Trump’s administration could set off new trade frictions with China.
The US trade deficit totalled US$502.3 billion previous year, a slight increase from 2015, according to the Commerce Department.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that the letter “is not an accurate statement of where we are at this time”.
“Unfair trade practices have hurt communities in Northeast Ohio and across the United States for decades”.