One week before he hosts a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump on Friday signed a pair of executive orders aimed at cracking down on trade abuses and identifying the causes of America’s massive trade deficit.
“We’re going to get these bad trade deals straightened out,” Trump said from the Oval Office. “The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country, year after year, decade after decade, trade deficit upon trade deficit reaching more than $700 billion last year alone and lots of jobs.”
The first executive order concentrates on tougher enforcement of anti-dumping laws and increasing the collection of anti-dumping penalties and so-called countervailing duties — a mechanism used against foreign governments that subsidize their producers and sell goods at below-market prices.
Anti-dumping penalties target exporters that sell goods below the cost of production.
Between 2001 and 2016, about $2.8 billion in import taxes went uncollected from companies in 40 countries, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. He told reporters that by not using the enforcement mechanism properly, Americans lose out on funds that could be used for other purposes.
The second executive order calls on the Commerce Department and U.S. trade representative to produce a comprehensive report