(John Brinkley – Forbes)
While Trump administration officials scratch their heads about the pros and cons of free trade agreements, other countries are racing ahead with agreements that exclude the United States.
In an executive order last week, President Trump ordered the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to undertake a “comprehensive performance review” of the 14 U.S. trade agreements to look for cheating, lax enforcement, currency manipulation and other transgressions. He gave them 180 days to get it done.
It shouldn’t take them anywhere near that long, because they already know the answers to the questions Trump posed. Those questions have been studied and reported on in detail by the International Trade Commission, the Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and non-governmental organizations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. There’s also an easily-accessed record of the 114 trade complaints the U.S. has filed in the World Trade Organization since its inception in 1995. Click here to read more.