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Trump prepares executive orders targeting unfair trade

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         Trump prepares executive orders targeting unfair trade

President Donald Trump plans to sign a pair of executive orders Friday aimed at curbing what he sees as unfair trade practices that have damaged the U.S. economy and wiped out jobs while adding to the nation’s trade deficit, administration officials said.

The orders are modest compared with the dramatic changes in trade policy that Trump promised on the campaign trail. But administration officials said they underscore the president’s determination to reset trade relations so that American employers can compete on more equitable terms.

One of the orders calls for a study that will examine past trade agreements and measure whether they delivered the promised benefits. The report, due in 90 days, will also attempt to tally various trade abuses country-by-country so that the White House has an accurate picture of trade practices that Trump officials conclude are putting the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage, officials said in a briefing at the White House.

The second order aims to improve collection of financial penalties against countries that dump products into the U.S. below production costs or illegally subsidize companies exporting products to the U.S. At present, about $2.8 billion in such duties have gone uncollected, administration officials said. The order seeks to improve collections through “every tool” under U.S. and international law.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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