Trump to order trade abuses study, improve import duty collection

By REUTERS
March 31, 2017 06:17
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WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump will sign executive orders on Friday aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive US trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports, his top trade officials said.

The orders, which underscore China's position as the biggest contributor to the $734 billion US goods trade deficit last year, comes as Trump prepares for his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi next week in Florida, where trade issues promise to be a major source of tension.

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.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters that one of the orders directs his department and the US Trade Representative to conduct a major review of the causes of US trade deficits, from unfair trade "cheating" to "currency misalignment" to "asymmetrical" treatment of tax systems by the World Trade Organization.

It also will study effects of trade deals that have failed to produced forecast benefits.

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