Trump team floating proposal of imposing tariff through executive action

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WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (APP): People close to President-elect Donald Trump are floating a possibility of imposing a five percent tax on imports through executive action, media reports said on Thursday as a China trade critic is tipped to lead a new trade council inside the White House.
According to CNN, the inner circle of Mr. Trump has told the channel that incoming Chief of Staff for the new President has been telling business leaders that Mr. Trump is considering a 5 percent tax on imports, though the proposal, according to the sources quoted by CNN, has met with opposition from those who heard it.
Mr. Trump during his election campaign has vowed to bring back jobs to America, criticizing American companies which relocated to other countries to save taxes and labour cost for manufacturing items that are exported back to the United States. He has also talked about imposing tariff on imports to counter what he has called unfair trade deals with countries. He has vowed to impose as much as 35 percent tax on goods exported to the country and manufactured by companies which moved jobs overseas.
The President-elect, who is to take office on Jan 20, can impose the tariff through an executive action. The sources which shared the news with CNN were divided about whether they believed the Trump team was full behind the proposal or if it was merely being felt out.
Meanwhile, another media report said that Mr. Trump will tap Peter Navarro, an economics and public policy professor who helped shape the trade policies during the campaign, to head a new trade body inside the White House.
“The formation of the National Trade Council further demonstrates the
President-elect’s determination to make American manufacturing great again and to provide every American the opportunity to work in a decent job at a decent wage,” the transition office said in a news release as quoted by online news magazine Politico.
“Navarro is a visionary economist and will develop trade policies that shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth, and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores.”
According to the report, the new trade body will advise Trump on trade negotiation strategies and work to boost domestic manufacturing and defense jobs. The proposed trade council is certain to cut into authority of the Office of US Trade Representatives, which traditionally enjoyed the authority over trade negotiations.
Navarro is seen as critic of US’ trade ties with China and has written books on the subject and created a documentary film titled, “DEATH BY CHINA: How America lost its manufacturing base.” This documentary has won praise from Mr. Trump as “right on”.
“This important documentary depicts our problem with China with facts, figures and insight,” Trump wrote on the film’s website.
Navarro is said to have supported Trump’s pledge to impose a 45 percent tariff on goods imported from China.