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Administration Softens on Trade, Not on Climate Change

By bob Mcgee – april 3, 2017

The Trump Administration moved forward on two initiatives last week that are likely to have ramifications on the sporting goods/outdoor industries. First, the president signed an executive order to roll back the Clean Power Plan and other directives that require the federal government to consider the impacts of climate change. The directive rolls back many of the climate policies enacted during the Obama Administration, but does not withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement that was signed in 2015.  

The Outdoor Industry Association responded to the president’s executive order, saying the outdoor industry “remains committed” to promoting policies and practices that address the impact we have on our environment and climate, including sustainable products, supply chains and renewable energy opportunities.

On the final day of March, President Trump signed two executive orders that will launch reviews of U.S. trade policy and talked tough on trade with China, days before he is to meet with that country’s President Xi Jinping. The administration wants a comprehensive review of all U.S. trade deficits and tighter enforcement of tariffs imposed in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases to make sure all duties are collected.  

But the Trump Administration appears to be leaning toward modest changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the pact signed by the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 1994. One possible NAFTA change may be a provision allowing for the re-instatement of tariffs if an excess of imports threaten the vitality of a domestic industry. Last month, Peter Navarro, who leads the White House National Trade Council, said the three countries should unite to become a regional manufacturing “powerhouse,” so workers in all three countries could benefit.  
It remains unclear at this point, whether the administration’s yet-to-be unified trade policy will involve a focus on a border-adjusted tax in any Congressional tax reform, or a merely a series of actions to address industry-specific trade disputes.

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