President Donald Trump will sign a pair of executive orders Friday aimed at cracking down on trade abuses.
The first order directs the Commerce Department to take the next three months to review the reasons for US trade deficits and all violations of trade rules that harm USA workers across every trading partner.
Trump has aired these longstanding grievances as he prepares to host China's President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort on April 6th and 7th. Now his administration appears to be taking a more cautious approach.
The directives come less than one week before Trump is scheduled to meet with the president of China-the largest contributor to the US trade deficit. "But these voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House", Trump said in comments carried by the political news site. "This is a story about trade abuses, this is a story about an under-collection of duties", he told reporters at a Thursday evening briefing.
Reading out the list of countries with which the USA has significant trade deficit, Ross also named India down the line with a trade deficit of Dollars 24 billion. "We're bringing manufacturing and jobs back to our country".
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Ross said results could produce action against unfair trade practices before the 90-day period is up, reported The Hill. "And, in some cases, it will simply be that they are better at making the product or can do it far cheaper than we can", Ross said.
Mr Navarro insisted the orders had nothing to do with Mr Xi's visit, but the US's highest trade deficit is with China at $347bn a year.
Navarro said the inability of the U.S. to collect anti-dumping duties on a wide range of products is a "long festering problem".
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.
The first, largely symbolic order, tasked officials to pinpoint "cheaters" - either countries or firms - who are responsible for America's almost $50 billion a month trade deficit. The order will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, to impose requirements and strengthen enforcement.
The directives allow Trump to focus on meeting his campaign promises to combat the flow of unfairly traded imports into the United States just a week after his pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare imploded in Congress.