Public comment is being sought for an upcoming report President Donald Trump is expected to use in attacking significant trade deficits, according to notices from the Commerce Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Commerce and USTR will hold a hearing May 18 regarding practices by trading partners that lead to US trade deficits. Information from the comments and hearing will be combined in a report to the president, according a Federal Register notice published April 17.
Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam have been singled out by the administration for their trade deficits in goods with the US.
The president and his trade advisers have indicated the administration intends to get tough with certain countries that refuse to alter their trading practices with the U.S. Trump signed an executive order March 31 calling for the report and promising to investigate and punish trade abuses. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross March 30 said the “measured, analytical” approach of the study would inform presidential decisions. The study is expected at the end of June.
Meanwhile, the “persistent U.S. deficit in goods trade” with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico is driving the push to renegotiate the deal, according to a recent letter to Congress sent by acting USTR Stephen Vaughn.