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Trump to target trade abuses with executive orders

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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.

He said he'd seen first-hand as he travelled the country how bad trade deals had hurt American workers.

President Donald Trump signed two executive orders Friday created to crack down on trade partners taking advantage of the U.S.

Another executive order, to be issued at the same time, will be about the "long-festering" problem of "under-collection" of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, dealing with imports that are substantially cheaper than local rivals because of state-subsidies. According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, between 2001 and 2016, around US$2.8bn in import taxes went uncollected from companies in 40 countries.

The orders are not specifically aimed at China, according to officials, but Ross noted that China is the number one source of the USA trade deficit, which was $347 billion a year ago.

The U.S. has a trade deficit - that's importing more goods than it exports - running into hundreds of billions of dollars with China.

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang yesterday acknowledged there was a trade imbalance, but said it was mostly due to difference in the two countries' economic structures and noted that China had a trade deficit in services.

But after the remarks, Trump walked out of the Oval Office without signing either of the orders.

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

Second, the investigation will look into whether the deficits with countries are because of specific free-trade agreements that did not produce positive results they were expected to generate for US businesses and workers, Ross said. They can also mean that foreign countries and entities are investing in United States assets. Navarro said that these orders are meant to shed light on trade abuses in general. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will lead the review. Also this week, he released a draft outline of plans to renegotiate the Bill Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement - and promised the results would be substantial.

The White House said Mr Trump would host Mr Xi on next Thursday and Friday at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida. "From now on, those that break the rules will face the consequences", the president said, adding that the consequences will be very severe. Navarro called it an action to address the "long-festering problem" of anti-dumping and countervailing.

"Nothing we're saying tonight is about China", Navarro said. Navarro said federal agencies will now take more enforcement actions when goods come into the country to collect those duties. "But these voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House", Trump said in comments carried by the political news site.

For example, an iPhone assembled in China is regarded as a Chinese export - but the money Apple makes from it is accounted for in the USA - contributing to the economy.

Mr Trump spent a large part of his presidential campaign railing against the U.S. trade deficit and foreign trade deals.

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