Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Andrew Harnik / AP

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters Friday that the Trump Administration — under a new trade executive order — will issue a report aimed at finding the violations and abuses of U.S. trade agreements with other countries, especially those that are covered by the World Trade Organization.

What's next: The review will take place over an 80-day period, at the end of which the U.S. hopes to renegotiate some of its key trade deals. Ross emphasized the word "renegotiate," as withdrawing from WTO and other agreements would be the "last resort."

Why this matters: The White House has tried to skirt around a series of its trade agreements with other countries, as they feel that the deals enable them to treat the U.S. unfairly. The issue has been compounded by the nation's ballooning trade deficit, which is relatively large compared to other countries.

Goals of the order, named "Addressing trade Agreement Violations and Abuses":

  • The order will be aimed at modifying trade agreements, rather than dealing with the behaviors of individual countries.
  • The largest portion of the review will deal with the countries that follow WTO rules, as opposed to countries covered with individual free trade agreement — WTO "doesn't really deal very much with non-tariff trade barriers, and it doesn't deal very effectively with intellectual property rights, or with the whole digital economy," said Ross.
  • "The U.S. is the least protectionist country," and many goods "come in totally free" whereas other countries charge much higher tariffs.
  • Reciprocal tax: Trump is a big proponent of this type of tax. "For countries that have many trade barriers against us, we should logically have similar trade barriers against them," said Ross.

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.