Washington~ President Donald Trump is moving to fulfill his campaign promises by signing two executive orders related to trade today. The first will launch an investigation of the U.S. trade deficit by examining U.S. trade relationship country-by-country to look for issues like trade cheating, lax enforcement or currency manipulation.
"This is a very smart move to target countries with large bilateral imbalances," said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. "The administration should not only consider the export/import ratio but also unnatural and excessive savings and investment rates by mercantilist surplus countries.
Trade deficits have been a substantial drag on economic growth. Our 41 years of trade deficits have played a major role in the hollowing out of our manufacturing industry. Since the year 2000, the U.S. has lost 28% of its manufacturing employment, around 5 million jobs. According to CPA estimates, eliminating the trade deficit would lead to the creation of over 2.5 million new jobs.
The second executive order will improve duty collection by directing the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury to impose requirements and strengthen enforcement.
"Fraudulent duty evasion by trade cheaters has long been a problem," said Stumo. "Importers falsify documents, trans-ship products, misclassify products and set up sham importing companies to evade the law. CPA applauds President Trump's action to carry out his pro-trade enforcement campaign promises."
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.
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