Washington Update

March 16th, 2018
Meg Kelly

Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Advisor

The White House announced Wednesday that Larry Kudlow would become Trump’s top economic advisor, following the resignation of Gary Cohn last week. Kudlow is a former CNBC host who was an informal economic advisor to Trump’s campaign. Kudlow previously served as an economist at the New York Federal Reserve and at the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan before moving on to Wall Street, including serving...

March 9th, 2018
By Meg Kelly

Steel and aluminum tariffs roil Washington

Following his announcement last week of his intention to act, President Trump signed an order Thursday putting a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. The tariffs will be implemented in the next 15 days. The order exempted Mexico and Canada from coverage, and includes a process for other allies to apply for similar exemptions. Trump also said the percentages could be adjusted up or down at a later date, and...

March 5th, 2018
Meg Kelly

Liu He visits Washington amid talk of steel and aluminum tariffs

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, Liu He, travelled to Washington this week to discuss trade tensions with the US government. Liu, a key proponent of China’s economic reforms over the past decade, was named to the Communist Party Politburo last fall and is expected to become a vice premier next month with responsibility for the financial sector.

Liu had a joint meeting on Thursday with...

February 23rd, 2018
By Meg Kelly

Top economic aide Liu He to visit DC next week

Chinese sources confirm to USCBC that President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, Liu He, will travel to Washington next week to discuss trade tensions with the US government. Liu, who was named to the Communist Party Politburo last fall and is expected to become a vice premier next month, is expected to meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other senior Trump administration officials in an effort to reinitiate...

February 16th, 2018
By Meg Kelly

Commerce Department releases findings on steel and aluminum investigations

On a call with media today, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discussed the findings and suggested remedies from the Administration’s investigations into steel and aluminum imports. In his remarks, Ross said, “each of these reports comes to the conclusion that… imports threaten to impair our national security.” Ross indicated that the goal of the actions in both products was to raise US production to 80 percent...

February 9th, 2018
By Meg Kelly

Chinese and US officials meet amid trade tensions

Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi traveled to Washington this week to meet with US officials and discuss the two nations’ strained trade relationships and tension over North Korea. On Thursday, Yang met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; little information was released about the meeting, but a State Department readout said the two looked forward to speaking again in the second quarter of this year at the Diplomatic &...

February 2nd, 2018
By Meg Kelly

Trade not a major component of State of the Union

Despite anticipation of a major trade announcement, Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the first by President Donald Trump, had very little mention of trade. The President cited the need for “fair” and “reciprocal” trade -- points made regularly by the administration in the past year -- but made no specific proposals on what would be done to achieve those goals. Trump simply said, "We will work to fix bad trade deals and...

January 26th, 2018
Meg Kelly
Trump at Davos: US is open for investment; Ross: US still a trade leader

President Trump spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Friday morning, highlighting his view that trade must be fair, but also inviting foreign investment in the United States. “I’m inviting you to be part of the future we are building together,” Trump said. Regarding trade, Trump said, “We can’t have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.” He...

January 19th, 2018
Meg Kelly

Strongly-worded USTR China WTO compliance released

The Office of the US Trade Representative’s annual report on China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations was released Friday, with notably harsher language about China’s economic behavior than in past administrations. The report states that the US was mistaken in supporting China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, because entry into the global trade organization has “proven to be ineffective in securing China’...

January 12th, 2018
By Meg Kelly

For analysis of potential trade actions in 2018, see Monday’s New Year edition of the Washington Update.

Steel report sent to White House, recommendations not yet public

The Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation into steel imports is complete and has been sent to the White House, just ahead of its January 15 deadline. The report will not be made public until the President decides whether to take action, which he has ninety days to do. The decision to keep the...