White House Press Briefing 4/3/17 – Senate committee Votes On Donald Trump’s Judge Gorsuch
executive orders on the trade — executive orders that the President is going to be signing this afternoon.
The first order directs the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to examine every form of trade abuse and non-reciprocal practice that are currently contributing to the United States’ large and persistent trade deficit, which was the largest of any major nation in 2016 at $500 billion.
Within 90 days, the Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative will submit a comprehensive report to the President on the causes of our unduly large deficit. It’s the first time in modern history that an American President has called for such an investigation, and its — our findings will allow us to make smarter decisions on behalf of the American people about our trade policy of our country going forward.
The second order addresses the current lack of enforcement of one of our strongest tools in fighting unfair trade practices — countervailing duties. Countervailing duties were put in place to address the problem of other countries dumping undervalued goods into American markets, making it impossible for American businesses to compete with artificially low prices.
This is especially a problem in countries whose governments subsidize exports into our country. So to discourage this practice, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has a mechanism for assessing these type of transactions and imposing financial penalties, known as countervailing duties,
Since 2001, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has not collected over $2.8 billion in these duties. If you think about it, we could do a lot by maximizing this enforcement power for our country. So we need to do a better job on behalf of the American worker. If a foreign company, often due to its being partly or entirely government-run or subsidized, is able to flood American markets with an artificially cheap steel, for example, they price American companies out of the system.