Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Trump talks up orders on trade, but neglects to sign them

President Trump on Friday is expected to sign two executive orders aimed at tackling long-standing concerns around trade enforcement as the White House launches plans to redefine USA policy.

"Nobody has ever made bad trade deals like our country has made", Trump said.

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed two executive orders in order to ramp up trade enforcement.

The completion of a large-scale report that will track trade deficits country-by-country and product-by-product is on the first order, while the other aims at improving the collection of duties on imports.

"We've under collected 2.8 billion of these duties" said Mr Peter Navarro, a top Trump trade advisor outlining the plan.

Ross said the report will form the basis of future decisions by the Trump administration to tackle trade imbalances.

The executive orders phrased by the Commerce Department and US Trade Representatives targets identifying trade abuses and "non-reciprocal practice" that led to the deficit in trade.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has also set the tone for a tense first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week by tweeting on Thursday that the USA could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses.

The President ignored the questions and moved to another room, only to be chased by Vice President Mike Pence, who picked up the folders containing the two executive orders.

The meeting at Mar-a-Lago on April 6th and 7th will be the first between to the leaders since Trump became president. In it, Trump thanks the press for attending and then walks to the door, opens it, and proceeds to leave.

Gabriel said the U.S. seemed prepared to give USA companies "unfair competitive advantage" over European producers, even though this violated global trade legislation.

On Friday, the Trump administration unveiled two new executive orders on trade.

The report, Ross said, will examine whether deficits are being driven by things like cheating, specific trade obligations, lax enforcement and World Trade Organization rules.

The trade review will touch upon a litany of American concerns about trade with India - inadequate protection of intellectual property, state subsidies and tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The White House said Trump later signed the orders in another room.

"This is a story about under-collection of duties, this is a story about 40 countries that basically subsidise their products and send them into our country or dump their products, and this is about collecting those products and defending American workers and manufacturing", Navarro said.

Now his administration appears to be taking a more cautious approach.

"Jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country", he said.

Administration officials said Beijing was not the focus, but China is the largest source of the United States trade deficit. "Let's not make this a story about China".

The United States has long complained that WTO rules allow exports from other countries to be exempt from value-added taxes (VAT), but do not allow equivalent corporate income tax benefits for USA exporters.

It will allow the Trump administration take a "measured and analytical approach" and not do anything too casually or abruptly, he said.

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