On his 100th day in office, Trump orders review of free trade deals.
US President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order, instructing his administration to review trade accords for possible abuses, including the country’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Trump signed the order on Saturday while accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after touring the Ames True Temper Tool Company in the city of Camp Hill in Pennsylvania.
“We’ve taken unprecedented action to bring back American jobs, American wealth and American dreams, and we are just getting started,” he said before signing the official order.
The executive order gives the US commerce secretary 180 days to carry out a review of whether the nation’s free trade agreements with partner countries have been economically beneficial for the United States.
The development came as Trump threatened to withdraw from the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) earlier in the week before eventually agreeing to renegotiate the deal with neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico.
While on the presidential campaign trail, Trump repeatedly censured US membership in international trade deals, pledging to renegotiate or withdraw the country from multilateral trade accords that for decades have served as foundations for global economics.
The US president formally abandoned Washington’s intent to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the sweeping trade agreement signed under the preceding administration last year – just days after being sworn into office in January.
The signing of the executive order came just before Trump attended a rally before his supporters in the city of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania to mark his 100th day in office as protesters gathered outside the venue to protest his presence.