Seal_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svgOn Friday, March 31, President Trump signed two executive orders related to trade.

1. The Presidential Executive Order on Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws seeks to address uncollected antidumping and countervailing duties which were estimated to be $2.3 billion not collected in 2015.

  • This will done primarily “through bonds and other legal measures, and also would identify other appropriate enforcement measures.”
  • The Order also seeks to “ensure the timely and efficient enforcement of laws protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) holders from the importation of counterfeit goods.”
  • Finally, the Order directs the “Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, (to) develop recommended prosecution practices and allocate appropriate resources to ensure that Federal prosecutors accord a high priority to prosecuting significant offenses related to violations of trade laws.”

2. The Presidential Executive Order Regarding the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits seeks to identify factors that result in a trade deficit in goods which exceeds $700 billion annually.  Within 90 days of the date of the order, the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with numerous other agencies, “shall prepare and submit to the President an Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (Report).”

The purpose of the report is to:

  • (a)  assess the major causes of the trade deficit, including, as applicable, differential tariffs, non-tariff barriers, injurious dumping, injurious government subsidization, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, denial of worker rights and labor standards, and any other form of discrimination against the commerce of the United States or other factors contributing to the deficit;
  • (b)  assess whether the trading partner is, directly or indirectly, imposing unequal burdens on, or unfairly discriminating in fact against, the commerce of the United States by law, regulation, or practice and thereby placing the commerce of the United States at an unfair disadvantage;
  • (c)  assess the effects of the trade relationship on the production capacity and strength of the manufacturing and defense industrial bases of the United States;
  • (d)  assess the effects of the trade relationship on employment and wage growth in the United States; and
  • (e)  identify imports and trade practices that may be impairing the national security of the United States.

Many in the Trade recognized Brenda Brockman Smith witnessing the signing of the Orders.