Trump to sign executive orders targeting trade abuses
Apr 02 2017
U.S. president Donald Trump is poised to sign two executive orders aimed at cracking down on trade abuses.
"This will represent the first systematic analysis of what are the causes, country by country, and product by product", Mr. Ross said.
China has been at the center of Trump's ire on trade, especially on the deficit, which decreased $20.1 billion previous year to $347 billion.
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to put America's trading relationship with the world on a more advantageous basis and put "America first".
Despite Trump's campaign rhetoric, Ross said the report would not focus extensively on currency manipulation, which is under the purview of the U.S. Treasury Department.
A lawyer for Mr Flynn said he was in talks with congressional committees investigating Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. election to testify before them in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Trump's executive orders initiate a large-scale review of the causes of the US' trade deficits with some of its largest trading partners and order stricter enforcement of United States anti-dumping laws to prevent foreign manufacturers from undercutting United States companies by selling goods at an unfair price.
White House video showed Trump entering the Oval Office to announce the orders, but leaving before actually signing any documents.
Much of that deficit data is already publicly available and well known, but Trump's initiative doubles down on his tough trade rhetoric and is being seen as a protectionist warning shot a week before the United States leader meets Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"I don't care. I'm here to do a job", he said while insisting that he was acting for the "American worker". "And we're going to get down to some very serious business", Mr Trump said.
Navarro said such duties have been under-collected by a cumulative US$2.8 billion since 2001. "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".
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, previewed the orders at the White House on Thursday night. Ross said the US has never made such an analysis to follow up with trading partners and assess how the trade relationship has worked out or why a deficit developed.
Trump tweeted Thursday evening that his first meeting with the Chinese leader would "be a very hard one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits ... and job losses".
"In some cases it will simply be that they are better at making the product or can do it far cheaper than we can". But foreign trade has also created savings by USA consumers for helping to reduce prices for clothing, cars and furniture, among other items. Ross also named India down the line with a trade deficit of United States dollars 24 billion.
The incident unfolded on the White House's official live stream of the event but was cut from an edited video later posted on Mr Trump's personal Twitter account. China has also repeatedly run afoul of US anti-dumping laws.
The aim was to complete the study and report the findings to Trump in 90 days - a timeframe that coincides with the expected start of negotiations to revamp the US-Canada-Mexico North American Free Trade Agreement.