Trump orders action on trade

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Trump signs executive orders to stop trade abuses ahead of Xi visitThe Trump administration is cracking-down on trade abuses as the U.S. President signed a pair of executive orders that could strain relations between the world's two biggest economies.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro were also present at the Friday announcement.

He also signed a second order that seeks to strictly enforce anti-dumping laws.

"The meeting next week with China will be a very hard one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits", Trump said in a Thursday tweet.

"The jobs and wealth have been stripped from our country", he said, vowing to bring that to an end. It will allow the Trump administration take a "measured and analytical approach" and not do anything too casually or abruptly, he said.

"Thousands of factories have been stolen from our country, but these voiceless Americans now have a voice in the White House", Trump said. The disappearing act occurred as a reporter asked the president about his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The US has a massive trade imbalance of $347 billion with China, followed by Japan with $68.9, Germany ($64.9), Mexico ($63.2 billion), Ireland ($35.9 billion) and Vietnam ($32 billion). While Ross said the actions weren't meant as a warning to China, Trump alluded to the visit in his remarks.

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"We're going to get down to some very serious business", he said.

Separately, the US Trade Representative's office, which is controlled by the White House, said Beijing's industrial policies and financial support for industries such as steel and aluminium have resulted in over-production and a flood of exports that have distorted global markets and undermined competitive companies.

China's Ministry of Commerce says it is working to expand various investment agreements with California, Texas, Iowa and other states, deals it estimates were worth US$2.5 billion to U.S. and Chinese businesses in 2016 alone. Let's not make this a China story. The study will be on the effects of abuses such as dumping of products below cost, unfair subsidies, "misaligned" currencies and "non-reciprocal" trade practices by other countries.

The orders come just days before a high-level meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The meeting next week with China will be a very hard one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits ... and job losses", he wrote.

"The tweet is trying to set low expectations", said Dollar, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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While officials didn't say what action Mr. Trump might take after the report is completed, Mr. Ross indicated it would provide an argument for raising tariffs.

The first calls for a report every imbalance contributing to the current USA trade deficit.

Trump declared that America's lost jobs would soon return home.

"What's driving this is the USA has the lowest tariff rates and the lowest non-tariff barriers of any developed country", Ross said.

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to renegotiate the entire 1994 deal with Canada and Mexico to better favor USA interests.

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