US outlines combative new trade policy agenda

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The US has formally outlined a new trade policy agenda based around a more aggressive approach to defending American interests.

The US government has formally outlined its intention to pursue a new approach to global trade that defends America's interests more aggressively.

Issued by the United States Trade Representative, the new trade policy agenda for 2017 is indicative of a significant change in approach for the US now that Donald Trump - who was highly critical of a number of existing trade agreements throughout his election campaign - has succeeded Barack Obama as president.

Having pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in one of its first acts, the new administration confirmed that it will be favoring bilateral trade deals over multilateral pacts in future, as it seeks to promote US economic growth, foster local job creation and address areas where it believes that America is not benefiting from current arrangements.

This includes by strictly enforcing US trade laws to prevent its market from being distorted by dumped or subsidized imports, as well as aggressively resisting efforts by other countries or international bodies like the World Trade Organization to push trading conditions that the Trump administration does not favor.

It was claimed that past trade deals have results in a loss of US sovereignty and a rising trade deficit without the expected economic benefits, with a specific claim that the current global trading system is benefiting China much more than the US.

The new agenda concluded by suggesting that Mr Trump's government will no longer support trade policies emphasizing multilateral cooperation, incremental change in foreign trade practices, and deference to international dispute settlement mechanisms.

The report said: "It is time for a new trade policy that defends American sovereignty, enforces US trade laws, uses American leverage to open markets abroad and negotiates new trade agreements that are fairer and more effective both for the US and for the world trading system, particularly those countries committed to a market-based economy."