(NationalSentinel) Trade: Throughout his campaign, President Donald J. Trump trumpeted his deal-making abilities while deeply criticizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (of which he has removed the U.S. from participation) and existing U.S. trade deals with China and others as bad for us and overly advantageous for our trade “partners.”
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 to identify “every possible cause of the U.S. trade deficit.”
Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for post, has yet to be confirmed.
Once completed, the findings of the report will serve as the foundation that will guide the Trump administration’s future trade policy.
Officials will consider the impact on deficits of trade abuses, non-reciprocal trade practices, specific trade obligations, poor or inconsistent enforcement and World Trade Organization rules.
The orders were applauded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“If anyone had any doubt about the president’s resolve to fix the trade problems, these two executive orders should end that speculation now and for all time,” he said standing next to Trump. “This marks the beginning of the totally new chapter in the American trade relationship with our partners overseas.”
Critics of Trump’s approach say he risks trade wars with China and other large trading partners, but the president maintains that in order to bring more jobs back to the U.S. and get a better deal for American exporters, existing trade deals will have to be renegotiated.
But what is absolutely true is that for decades, following prior “free trade” deals, American jobs and industry have been off-shored to other countries at a breakneck pace. To claim that these globalist trade deals have not had any negative effect on U.S. employment and manufacturing is a sick joke.
Americans obviously trusted a businessman to fix the imbalance, and who better – him, or politicians influenced by people who have a financial stake in the outsourcing?
The globalists who aren’t interested in leveling the trade playing field will make themselves known in the coming weeks and months – they will be the ones screaming the loudest for existing deals to remain in place. But that will help you identify who is the part of the problem and not part of the solution, so you can choose appropriately at the ballot box.