Members' Research Service By / January 25, 2017

Comments on new US trade policy

Written by Jan Bäverström, This is a collection of comments from think tanks and newspapers on the possible effects of…

© mars58 / Fotolia

Written by Jan Bäverström,

Comments on future US Foreign and Trade Policies
© mars58 / Fotolia

This is a collection of comments from think tanks and newspapers on the possible effects of a new US trade policy. There are also comments on the new US Trade Representative as well as links to the White House foreign policy pages and to the nomination hearings in the US Senate.

White House

The Inaugural Address , 20 January 2017


America First Foreign Policy

Bringing Back Jobs And Growth

Trade Deals Working For All Americans

Trade Personnel in the Trump Administration / White & Case, 2017
For several years, Mr. Lighthizer has argued publicly that US policymakers (and particularly Republicans) should reexamine their support for free trade and adopt more interventionist trade policies, particularly towards China. In this regard, Mr. Lighthizer has advocated more aggressive enforcement of existing US trade laws and agreements as well as the adoption of new trade policies to counteract the perceived negative effects of imports and the alleged unfair practices of US trading partners.

Congress hearings

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Nomination of   Rex Wayne Tillerson Of Texas, To Be Secretary Of State , 11 January 2017

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,

Nomination hearing for Wilbur Ross, President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Department of Commerce , 18 January 2017

Committee Questionnaire

Articles in the new US Trade Representative

Lighthizer nomination wins praise from opposing groups : the Hagstrom Report, 13 January 13, 2017
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said Jan. 3 he is looking forward to working with Robert Lighthizer, whom President-elect Donald Trump nominated for U.S. Trade Representative earlier in the day. But Lighthizer also won praise from Public Citizen’s Trade Watch and groups that have usually been more concerned about increased imports rather than the exports that are so important to farmers.

Trump’s Economic Brain Trust / by Michelle Jamrisko, and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, 13 January 2017
The men who are cooking up Trumponomics.

The Lighthizer Effect on Trade Policies / By DTN’s Washington Insider, 13 January 2017
As the new administration approaches inauguration, concern over what emerging trade policies might look like is unabated, generally, but the Chicago Tribune says it sees an odd development; a little relief and a tiny glimmer of optimism on both sides of the aisle.

Finance members meet with USTR pick; Hatch pledges to push for TPP / Inside U.S. Trade, 12 January 2017
As Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week.The Finance panel is tasked with vetting Lighthizer. Hatch on Jan. 10 said the committee will first “have to get all the paperwork done before we can schedule a hearing,” but added that he has no doubt Lighthizer will be confirmed.

US China trade war  – Trump and trade, Lighthizer as USTR, border adjustment taxes… WTO cases, MNE status and 337 / US CHina trade war, 12 January 2017
Although the past appointments of Governor Branstad of Iowa as Ambassador to China and Wilbur Ross to Commerce, two persons who know China well, indicate no potential trade war, the two latest appointments of Bob Lighthizer to USTR and Peter Nararro as Chairman of the National Economic Advisors indicate that protectionism, especially against China, is back on the menu.

Global Trade Watch on the Lighthizer Nomination / Simon Lester, Global Trade Watch blog, 5 January 2017
The nomination of Robert Lighthizer to be U.S. Trade Representative signals President-elect Donald Trump’s interest in altering the trade policy approach that has prevailed through Republican and Democratic administrations for the past two decades. Lighthizer has consistently noted that historically Republicans favored trade policies designed to obtain specific national economic goals and criticized the Republican Party’s rigid support over recent decades of “free trade” ideology. His views put him at odds with most of Trump’s other high-level appointees who represent the very perspective on trade that Lighthizer has long critiqued.

Trump taps Reagan ex-official Lighthizer as trade chief / Kyodo, 4 January 2017
Lighthizer served as U.S. deputy trade chief under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, playing a major role in negotiating some two dozen bilateral agreements on a variety of issues from steel to grain, the Trump transition team said in a statement.

Trump picks Robert Lighthizer as US trade representative / by Susan Crabtree, Kyle Feldscher, 3 January 2017

Trump chooses protectionist-leaning trade representative / Shawn Donnan,, 3 January 2017
‘Appointment of Robert Lighthizer signals expected shift in US trade policy.’

Think Tank and Newspaper comments on Trade Policy

Trump’s quick ‘deal’ demands could unravel NAFTA / Oxfore Analytica, 23 January 2017
‘Washington’s demands for quick concessions from Canada and Mexico clash with the realities of trade negotiations.’

Fate of free trade depends on the whims of Donald Trump / Alan Beattie,, 17 January 2017
The US president-elect has bought into the idea that the global economy is a zero-sum game

The Economic Case for Preserving PPD-28 and Privacy Shield / Cameron Kerry, Alan Charles Raul, Lawfareblog, 17 January 2017
As the new administration takes office this week, we will start to see just how literally to take Donald Trump’s pronouncements and the promised targeting of his predecessor’s executive orders for immediate destruction. Trade policy appointments signal that statements about being aggressive against barriers to trade should be taken very literally.

Border Tax Adjustments: Assessing Risks and Rewards / Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE) and Zhiyao (Lucy) Lu (PIIE Policy Brief 17-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics, January 2017
‘Border tax adjustments will be hotly debated as a key feature of the cash flow tax proposed in the Ryan/Brady Blueprint. This Policy Brief examined border tax adjustments from the perspective of their compatibility with WTO rules, their possible impact on the dollar exchange rate, and the resulting effects on tax incidence brought by exchange rate movements. All aspects defy dogmatic predictions. The Trump administration and Congress will need to evaluate BTAs from different angles, realizing that decisions taken will carry the US economy into uncertain terrain.’

Trump and Trade on the Cato Daily Podcast / By Caleb O. Brown; Cato Insitute, 13 January 2017
‘Daniel J. Ikenson and Daniel J. Mitchell discusses the backgrounds and new roles for Trump’s “protectionist triumvirate” of Wilbur Ross, Peter Navarro, and Robert Lighthizer.’

Trump’s trade policy: protecting American workers at the expense of American consumers / Dany Bahar, Brookings, 6 January 6 2017

As President, Trump Can Shackle Trade. But Will He? / Gary Clyde Hufbauer, PIIE Peterson Institute for International Economics, 5 January 2017
Summary of statutes available for presidential control of foreign commerce

How might China react to Trump on trade in 2017? Here are some of Beijing’s options / James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, 23 December 2016

Trump on Trade: A Few Cautions / Gary Clyde HufbauerPIIE Peterson Institute for International Economics, 30 November 2016

Trade Policy in a Trump Administration / Chad Bown, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 12 November 2017
He talked about President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign trade proposals and potential trade policy.

PIIE Analysis of Trump and Clinton Trade Proposals Finds Substantial Divergent Effects / Peterson Institute for International Economics, 19 September 2016
Donald J. Trump’s sweeping proposals on international trade, if implemented, could unleash a trade war that would plunge the US economy into recession and cost more than 4 million private sector American jobs, according to an empirical analysis of the two candidates’ trade agendas by the Peterson Institute for International Economics

China Is No Longer Manipulating Its Currency / C. Fred Bergsten (PIIE), Peterson Institute for International Economics, 5 January 2017
‘President-elect Donald J. Trump has vowed to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. That pledge is outdated as well as dubious legally. China did manipulate the renminbi from 2003 through 2014 in order to boost its exports and make imports more expensive. But China is no longer doing it. In fact, it is intervening to increase the value of the renminbi—an action that actually helps make US exporters more competitive. Labeling China a manipulator also has no legal impact.’

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