Trump considers trade order that could lead to duties: official




By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to launch a trade investigation that could lead to supplemental duties in certain product categories, a Trump administration official told Reuters.

Trump has made reducing U.S. trade deficits a key focus of his economic agenda to try to grow American manufacturing jobs. He has taken particular aim at renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico.

The new order, if issued, would seek to determine whether U.S. trade deficits for those product lines are the result of dumping of imported products below cost and unfair subsidies by foreign governments, the official said late on Sunday in Washington.

That could eventually lead to additional import duties, but any decisions on such punishments would depend on the probe's findings, not "pre-determined conclusions," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the order was still being considered. The official did not specify which product lines could be investigated.

"The administration would use the results of that investigation to determine the best path forward, which could include everything from no action at all to the levying of supplemental duties," the official said.

The Axios news website earlier quoted an official saying such an executive order would likely target steel and aluminum, two industries that are battling for more protection from Chinese imports. Axios said it also may target household appliances, where South Korean manufacturers with Chinese factories have gained market share.

The Trump administration official did not provide any details to Reuters on timing of the executive order, which would be separate from a March 31 Trump order authorizing a 90-day Commerce Department study of trade abuses and their effect on U.S. trade deficits.

TRUMP-XI 100-DAY PLAN

News of the additional order comes two days after Trump's first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida, where the two leaders agreed to launch a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting U.S. exports to China and reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China.

Trump during his election campaign had threatened punitive tariffs on Chinese imports and to declare China a currency manipulator. He has not followed through on either threat thus far.

The U.S. steel industry has already won extensive anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports from China and other countries and the aluminum industry is seeking similar protections. U.S. appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. has also won anti-dumping duties against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics brand clothes washers made in China.

But U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump's nominee to be the top U.S. trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, have said they would work to find new trade remedies to stop unfairly traded imports.

Among options they are expected to explore are trade actions under Section 301 of the Tariff Act of 1930, a provision used extensively in the 1980s to raise tariffs and import quotas on certain Japanese products including steel and motorcycles.

Section 301 has largely gone unused since the World Trade Organization was launched in 1995.

Related Video:

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Randy Fabi)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Pence on message, despite Trump
Pence on message, despite Trump's troubles at home

The day after President Donald Trump sparred with reporters on live television over assigning blame for violence at a white supremacist rally, White House aides were stunned, advisers were whispering their ...

Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them?
Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them?

One-hundred-fifty baskets of pink petunias hang from the light posts all over this city, watered regularly by residents trying to make their community feel alive again. A local artist spends his afternoons ...

Steve Bannon fired a warning shot on his way out of the White House
Steve Bannon fired a warning shot on his way out of the White House

Steve Bannon says now that he has left the White House, he will go to war against President...

Citing Trump remarks, entire president
Citing Trump remarks, entire president's arts council quits

NEW YORK (AP) - Another presidential advisory committee appears to be breaking up.

Tense days for business owners without legal status in US
Tense days for business owners without legal status in US

MIAMI (AP) - Maribel Resendiz and her husband came to the U.S. from Mexico, sold cool drinks to workers in the tomato fields of South Florida and eventually opened a bustling shop in a strip mall offering fruit smoothies and tacos. Now she is preparing for the possibility she'll have to leave it

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.