Donald Trump achievements: Trade policy

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Official presidential photo of President Donald Trump
Main article: Donald Trump achievements

This article is a non-exhaustive list of achievements by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress related to trade policy.


President Trump, along with trade advisor Peter Navarro, Vice Preaident Mike Pence, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, prior to the signing of two trade orders, March 31, 2017

President Trump began pursuing a conservative, economic nationalist trade policy, and he used trade as a point of leverage with other countries.[1]

Executive actions, 2017

  • January 23, 2017—Trump signed an order that withdrew the United States from the globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership.[2]
  • March 18, 2017—The Trump Administration forced the G-20 to remove its opposition to protectionism and its support for free trade from its joint statement.[3]
  • March 31, 2017—President Trump signed two orders. The first order instituted a crackdown on violations of anti-dumping laws and help to officials to collect penalties already owed to the U.S. The second order ordered a report by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative on the causes of the U.S. trade deficit due within 90 days.[4][5]
  • April 18, 2017—President Trump signed a "buy-American, hire-American" order, restricting the H-1B visa to give hiring preference to American workers and enacting stronger enforcement of laws requiring the use of American-made materials in federal projects.[6]
  • April 20, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to investigate whether steel imports pose a threat to U.S. national security.[7][8]
  • April 25, 2017—After Canada changed its milk pricing policy, putting U.S. farmers at a severe disadvantage,[9] the Trump Administration imposed tariffs at rates up to 24% on Canadian lumber imports.[10] The Trump Administration increased the tariffs in June 2017[11] and made them final in November 2017.[12]
  • April 27, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum opening a Department of Commerce investigation into whether the high level of aluminum imports constitutes a threat to U.S. national security.[13]
  • April 29, 2017—President Trump signed two executive orders, one ordering the U.S. to review all of its free trade agreements including NAFTA, and the other establishing a White House trade policy office.[14][15]
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump approved a trade deal with China which would increase American exports.[16]
  • May 18, 2017—President Trump began the process of renegotiating NAFTA.[17]
  • June 12, 2017—The U.S. and China made an agreement that would allow American beef products to be exported to China.[18] U.S. beef imports began entering China soon afterward.[19]
  • July 8, 2017—In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them on the statement on trade.[20]
  • July 2017—A month after allowing the U.S. to export beef, China allowed the U.S. to export rice to the nation.[21]
  • July 31, 2017—The United States and Ukraine agreed to have the U.S. export coal to Uraine, so the latter could gain energy independence from Russia.[22]
  • August 8, 2017—The Trump Administration placed a punitive import tax on Chinese aluminum foil imports after to a preliminary determination that the country was illegally dumping the product into the U.S.[23] In 2018, the U.S. government made the tariffs permanent and raised their rates.[24][25]
  • August 14, 2017—President Trump signed an order directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to conduct an investigation into whether China is stealing U.S. intellectual property.[26]
  • September 26, 2017—The Commerce Department instituted a 219.63% preliminary tariff on Bombardier's CSeries jets due to a complaint from Boeing that the Canadian government was unfairly subsidizing the aircraft.[27] On October 6, 2017, the Department of Commerce added an additional 79.82% duty on the CSeries jets, making the total tariff be at about 300%.[28] However, in January 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled against the tariffs.[29]
  • November 28, 2017—The Commerce Department self-initiated anti-dumping investigations on Chinese aluminum imports – the U.S. rarely self-initiates such investigations, with the previous self-initiated investigations taking place in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[30] That same day, the administration enacted duties on Chinese tool chests and cabinets.[31]
  • November 30, 2017—The Trump Administration formally opposed giving China market economy status in the World Trade Organization.[32]

Proclamations, 2017

  • July 17, 2017—President Trump proclaimed this day Made in America Day and the week of July 16–22 as Made in America Week.[33]

Other achievements, 2017

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • U.S. coal exports to Europe and Asia rose 60% in early 2017 compared to the previous year.[34]
  • President Trump took a very strong stance on trade policy as president,[35] and he recognized that America's previous leaders were to blame for the U.S. past trade failures, rather than other countries such as China.[36]


President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in sign a revised trade agreement, September 24, 2018
Meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the U.S.–China trade war, December 1, 2018

President Trump made many trade actions involving tariffs in 2018.[37] He was helped by a growing U.S. economy even as economic growth in other countries stagnated.[38] Trump also took a tougher stance on China compared to previous administrations,[39] and according to the research group EconPol Europe, China had paid most of the cost of the trade war.[40]

Executive actions, 2018

  • January 22, 2018—President Trump imposed tariffs on solar energy product and washing machine imports, using a section of U.S. trade law last used early in George W. Bush's presidency.[41]
  • February 27, 2018—After enacting punitive tariffs on aluminum foil in August 2017,[23] the Department of Commerce upheld the tariffs and raised their rates.[24] On March 15, 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission upheld the rates.[25]
  • March 8, 2018—President Trump, through two orders using Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, imposed a 25% tariff on all steel imports and a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports, something he did both for economic and national security reasons.[42] Canada and Mexico were granted exemptions from the tariffs pending the NAFTA renegotiations, and the orders allowed for potential future exemptions for U.S. allies.[42] President Trump also gave temporary exemptions to the European Union and six other U.S. allies when the tariffs went into effect.[43] On April 30, 2018, the Trump Administration announced it had reached an agreement with South Korea to enact quotas on steel imports from the country, along with agreements in principle with several other countries.[44] On May 31, 2018, the Trump Administration imposed the tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the EU and ended the exemptions, effective the following day.[45]
  • March 22, 2018—President Trump signed a memorandum using Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 that ordered the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to begin several trade actions against China, including tariffs that could total around $50 billion.[46] The Trump Administration released its proposed tariffs on April 3, 2018.[47] On April 5, 2018, President Trump ordered the USTR to consider $100 billion more in tariffs against China.[48] On May 29, 2018, the Trump Administration announced it would move forward with the $50 billion tariffs, among other actions against China,[49] and it announced the details and implementation on June 15, 2018.[50] On June 18, 2018, President Trump directed the USTR to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese products to enact 10% tariffs on if China would refuse to change its behavior and not implement retaliatory tariffs,[51] something which it did on July 10, 2018.[52] On July 6, 2018, $34 billion worth of the tariffs went into effect.[53] On August 1, 2018, President Trump directed the USTR to consider raising the proposed $200 billion tariff rates to 25% from 10%.[54] On August 7, 2018, the Trump Administration finalized 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports,[55] with the tariffs going into effect on August 23, 2018.[56] On September 17, 2018, the Trump Administration announced it would impose 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, with the rate planned to increase to 25% on January 1, 2019.[57] On December 1, 2018, the White House announced the Trump Administration would not raise the tariff rate to 25% for at least 90 days while the two countries negotiated for a trade deal.[58] The tariff increase ultimately was implemented on May 10, 2019.[59]
  • April 19, 2018—President Trump signed an executive order that, among other changes, loosened U.S. regulations on arms exports to foreign countries and sped up the approval process for weapons sales, including those for military drones.[60] The Defense Department took steps to decrease the amount of time needed to complete foreign arms sales.[61]
  • May 14, 2018—The Trump Administration began the process of loosening regulations for certain small-arms exports and changing the agency giving approval from the State to Commerce Department.[62] It officially published the proposed rule changes on May 24, 2018.[63] In July 2018, President Trump approved the State Department's proposed implementation plan for the new policy.[64] In February 2019, the Trump Administration finalized the new rules.[65]
  • The Trump Administration, in an effort to save U.S. jobs, reached agreements with Qatar[66] and the United Arab Emirates[67] in a dispute over the two countries subsidizing their airlines.
  • May 21, 2018—The Commerce Department enacted high tariffs against Chinese steel products shipped from Vietnam in violation of U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.[68]
  • May 23, 2018—At the request of President Trump, the Commerce Department began an investigation into whether auto imports pose a national security threat to the U.S.[69] The department formally delivered the results of the report to President Trump on February 17, 2019.[70]
  • June 8–9, 2018—At the annual G7 summit, President Trump took strong "America First" stances on trade and other issues,[71] and he retracted his country's support of the summit's joint statement due to false statements made by Canada's prime minister – the summit's host – against him.[72]
  • July 18, 2018—The Commerce Department announced it would investigate whether uranium imports threaten U.S. national security.[73] In a decision made on July 12, 2019, President Trump declined to establish uranium import quotas, though he did acknowledge that the Commerce Department's findings "raise significant concerns" and ordered a deeper review by a working group to make recommendations.[74]
  • August 10, 2018—President Trump announced the U.S. would double its aluminum and steel tariffs against Turkey, coming during a dispute over Turkey's detainment of an American pastor in the country as well as the devaluing of Turkey's Lira currency.[75] On May 16, 2019, President Trump signed a proclamation reducing the steel tariff back to 25%, citing its success in reducing Turkey's exports to the U.S., and he also ended the country's preferential trade status.[76]
  • August 23, 2018—President Trump signed a memorandum making it U.S. policy to end international mail discounts created by a UN agency which made it cheaper to send a product to the U.S. from a foreign country than from a location inside the United States.[77] On October 17, 2018, the Trump Administration formally announced it would begin the process of withdrawing from the Universal Postal Union.[78] On September 25, 2019, the Trump Administration reached a deal with the UPU that satisfied its complaints.[79]
  • September 24, 2018—President Trump signed a revised trade agreement that his administration renegotiated with South Korea's president.[80] The agreement did not require U.S. Senate approval,[80] and South Korea's parliament ratified it on December 7, 2018.[81]
  • November 7, 2018—The Commerce Department announced it would impose tariffs on Chinese aluminum sheet products, the first time since 1985 that it had enacted final tariffs in a self-initiated investigation.[82]
  • December 1, 2018—In the G-20's statement, the Trump Administration succeeded in calling for World Trade Organization reform and removing a statement against protectionism.[83]
  • December 6, 2018—The International Trade Commission made permanent Commerce Department tariffs on steel pipe imports from China and India.[84]

Proclamations, 2018

  • April 26, 2018—President Trump declared this day to be World Intellectual Property Day, stating that "our country will no longer turn a blind eye to the theft of American jobs, wealth, and intellectual property through the unfair and unscrupulous economic practices of some foreign actors."[85]
  • July 13, 2018—President Trump proclaimed July 17 Made in America Day and the week of July 15–21 as Made in America Week.[86]

Other achievements, 2018

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • Through his trade actions, President Trump helped revive the GOP's historical support for tariffs.[87] By 2018, blue-collar manufacturing towns in the U.S. that had once supported Democrats had become strongly Republican, largely because of the GOP's and Trump's increasingly tough stance on trade issues.[88] Additionally, President Trump made numerous strong statements defending his support for tariffs.[89]
  • President Trump's enactment of aluminum and steel tariffs had a positive immediate effect on American manufacturers, with U.S. steel mills seeing a nearly 5% shipment increase in 2018,[90] and with several steel companies restarting or even considering building factories.[91] For example, United States Steel announced it would increase operations in Granite City, Illinois, due to increased demand resulting from the tariffs[92] and Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. announced a massive increase in business following the tariffs' enactment.[93] Additionally, Nucor announced it would build a new steel mill in Florida.[94] In June 2018, the steel company JSW announced it would invest $500 million to build a new steel plant in Ohio, something it announced after announcing an additional $500 million investment in an existing plant in Texas.[95] U.S. Steel announced in August 2018 that it would invest $750 million in its Gary, Indiana, plant, crediting the steel tariffs.[96] Braidy Industries moved forward in building a new aluminum mill that would create 550 new jobs.[97] Steel Dynamics announced it would invest up to $1.8 billion to build a new steel mill in the southwest U.S. that would create about 600 jobs.[98] A Louisiana pipe company reported excellent business because of the tariffs.[99] The American steel industry was "very happy" with the administration's tariffs.[100] Additionally, aluminum prices had actually fallen one month after President Trump announced tariffs on foreign aluminum products, in part due to increased production by U.S. aluminum producers.[101] By June 2018, President Trump's tariffs were attributed, at least in part, to the strong and rapid economic turnaround in the Iron Range of Minnesota,[102][103] in Michigan,[103] as well as the positive economic effect on Granite City, Illinois, as also briefly mentioned above.[104] In December 2018, Fiat Chrysler announced it would build an assembly plant in Detroit, the first new factory in the city in 27 years and the first new assembly plant in the country by a domestic car maker since before the Great Recession.[105] An analysis by the Coalition for a Prosperous America in August 2018 found that since February 1 of that year, 11,100 jobs were created as a result of the Trump Administration's tariffs,[106] and that twenty times more jobs had been created than lost as a result of the tariffs.[107] The CPA also estimated that 2.1 million jobs were created in 2018 by the administration's steel tariffs and its other economic policies.[108] A December 2018 report by the Economic Policy Institute found that the March 2018 tariff on aluminum imports was having a positive impact on the U.S. economy and the aluminum industry.[109] Additionally, while not a direct effect of President Trump's trade policies, the economy continued its strong growth despite fears that the tariffs would slow growth,[110] and by the second quarter of 2018, U.S. productivity had risen to the highest level since 2015 despite fears that the tariffs would lower productivity.[111] Manufacturing output, even from those using steel and aluminum, increased at a strong pace in October 2018 despite fears that tariffs would hurt production,[112] and orders of products affected by tariffs increased that month.[113]
  • Exports rose 6.6% in May 2018, causing the United States's trade deficit to drop to the lowest level since October 2016,[114] and by August 2018, prospective military sales to U.S. allies reached $63 billion – 50% higher than in 2017 – despite fears that President Trump's tariffs would do the opposite.[115]
  • U.S. arms sales saw strong growth in 2018. By July 2018, the U.S. had already sold more weapons that year than the entire year in 2017,[116] and in Fiscal Year 2018, the dollar value of U.S. arms sales nearly reached the record set in 2012.[117] The State Department reported in November 2018 that U.S. arms sales increased 13% in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to the previous year, with arms sales specifically from the U.S. government to a foreign government increasing 33% during the same period.[118]


President Trump watches as the U.S. and EU sign a trade agreement, August 2, 2019
President Trump watches as the U.S. and Japan sign two trade agreements, October 7, 2019

By 2019, the Trump Administration had taken numerous actions on trade.[119] These trade actions seriously challenged China's economic growth,[120] and because of the Trump Administration's trade actions, the U.S. trade deficit fell 15% in January 2019.[121] By May 2019, the tariffs on China had raised $16 billion,[122] and total tariffs between June 2018 and June 2019 had raised $63 billion.[123] In September 2019, the U.S. collected $7 billion from tariffs, a record number.[124] Additionally, many companies moved production out of China.[125] President Trump's trade actions against China, among other actions, helped "decouple" the economies of the two nations.[126] As in other issues, the deep state and Obama holdovers attempted to obstruct President Trump's conservative trade agenda.[127]

Executive actions, 2019

  • January 31, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to favor contractors who use American-made materials in construction projects.[128]
  • February 2019—The Trump Administration finalized the new gun export rules it had started implementing the previous year and which changed the policy to require gun-makers to have a license from the Commerce Department rather than the State Department to export firearms overseas.[65]
  • February 27, 2019—In Vietnam, President Trump presided over the signing of several trade deals worth $21 billion between U.S. and Vietnamese companies that would support an estimated 83,000 American jobs.[129]
  • March 4, 2019—The Commerce Department began an investigation into whether titanium imports negatively impact U.S. national security.[130]
  • March 4, 2019—The Trump Administration announced it would end preferential trade status for India and Turkey since such treatment had not led to any advantages to the U.S.[131] On May 16, 2019, President Trump signed a proclamation making the termination for Turkey official.[76] On May 31, 2019, the Trump Administration announced it would end India's special status on June 5, 2019.[132] On October 14, 2019, President Trump ended trade negotiations with Turkey and raised steel tariffs on the country to 50%, among other actions, because of the country's actions in Syria.[133]
  • April 3, 2019—President Trump signed a memorandum cracking down on online counterfeit goods trafficking on websites such as Amazon and eBay.[134]
  • April 8, 2019—The Trump Administration proposed a list of $11 billion worth of tariffs on European Union products in retaliation against the EU's subsidies for Airbus.[135] On July 1, 2019, the USTR proposed an additional $4 billion in tariffs because of the Airbus subsidies.[136] On October 2, 2019, it announced it would impose tariffs on $7.5 billion in EU products after a favorable WTO ruling in the biggest case in the international organization's history, and the tariffs went into effect on October 18, 2019.[137]
  • May 5, 2019—President Trump announced that because of China's stalling in negotiations, he planned on raising tariffs on $200 billion of the country's exports to the U.S. from 10% to 25%.[138] On May 8, 2019, the USTR filed a notice for the tariff increase.[139] The tariff increase happened as scheduled at midnight on May 10, 2019.[59] That same day, the USTR began the process of raising tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports.[140] On June 29, 2019, President Trump put the planned tariffs on hold as the U.S. and China agreed to resume trade talks,[141] though on August 1, 2019, he announced the U.S. would proceed with those tariffs and formally impose them the following month.[142] On August 13, 2019, President Trump partially pulled back on the previous tariff announcement, delaying some of the planned tariffs and canceling some others.[143] On August 23, 2019, President Trump told American businesses to move operations out of China and to search out and refuse any fentanyl shipments to the U.S.,[144] and, in retaliation for newly-imposed Chinse tariffs, he announced that the existing 25% tariffs would be raised to 30% on October 1, 2019, and that the pending 10% tariffs would be raised to 15%.[145] On September 11, 2019, President Trump announced that he would postpone tariffs on China by two weeks, from October 1 to October 15.[146] On October 11, 2019, President Trump announced a partial trade agreement with China and suspended the planned tariff increase.[147] On December 13, 2019, the U.S. and China announced a preliminary and limited trade agreement to avoid increasing U.S. tariffs on China.[148]
  • May 7, 2019—The U.S. reimposed a 17.5% tariff on tomatoes from Mexico after the U.S. withdrew from a 2013 agreement suspending the tariff.[149] On August 21, 2019, the Trump Administration announced an agreement with Mexican tomato producers to resolve the dispute.[150] On November 22, 2019, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in favor of the agreement.[151]
  • May 17, 2019—While President Trump signed a proclamation delaying a decision for six months on whether to impose auto tariffs, the proclamation acknowledged the national security threat posed by large numbers of automobile imports as concluded by the Commerce Department.[152]
  • May 23, 2019—The Commerce Department proposed imposing tariffs on any country that artificially devalues its currency.[153]
  • May 29, 2019—The Commerce Department imposed anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese mattresses and beer kegs.[154]
  • May 30, 2019—President Trump announced that because of the massive numbers of illegal immigration through Mexico and the Mexican government's failure to stop it, he would impose a 5% tariff on the country and raise it by 5% every month until it substantially reduced illegal immigration into the U.S.[155] On June 7, 2019, President Trump announced that his administration had reached a deal with Mexico, with Mexico increasing immigration enforcement to prevent migrants from entering the U.S. in exchange for the U.S. suspending the tariffs.[156]
  • July 2, 2019—The Commerce Department imposed 456% tariffs on South Korean and Taiwanese steel transshipped through Vietnam to avoid existing U.S. tariffs.[157] The Commerce Department issued the final order implementing the tariffs on December 16, 2019.[158]
  • July 8, 2019—The Commerce Department imposed tariffs on certain companies' steel imports from Mexico and China because the two countries helped their steel manufacturers through subsidies.[159] The Commerce Department moved forward with the tariffs on September 4, 2019.[160]
  • July 10, 2019—The U.S. began an investigation into a French tax on technology companies and whether it "unfairly target[ed] American companies."[161] On August 26, 2019, the U.S. and France reached a compromise agreement on the tax.[162]
  • July 15, 2019—President Trump signed an executive order significantly increasing the required percentages of American components in materials used for government projects.[163]
  • July 26, 2019—President Trump signed a memorandum directing the USTR to do everything in its power to prevent the World Trade Organization from allowing countries to claim "developing country" status within the organization if they have strong economies that make such a designation unnecessary.[164]
  • August 2, 2019—President Trump announced a trade agreement with the European Union that expanded U.S. beef exports into the EU.[165]
  • August 5, 2019—The Trump Administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator, the first time the U.S. government had officially done so since 1994 and fulfilling a 2016 campaign promise.[166] The U.S. removed the label from China on January 13, 2020.[167]
  • September 10, 2019—The Commerce Department imposed 222% tariffs on Chinese ceramic tile.[168] On November 7, 2019, the department announced it had made a preliminary determination that China dumped ceramic tile into the U.S. and imposed tariffs ranging between 114.49% and 356.02%.[169]
  • September 25, 2019—President Trump announced and signed a limited trade agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that significantly opened up the Japanese market to U.S. agricultural imports.[170] The U.S. and Japan officially signed two trade agreements on October 7, 2019.[171]
  • October 3, 2019—The Commerce Department imposed significant preliminary anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese wooden cabinet imports.[172]
  • October 25, 2019—President Trump signed a proclamation restoring preferential trade status to Ukraine after its government took actions to satisfy U.S. intellectual property concerns, and he also removed some imports from Thailand from the program.[173] Later, on October 31, 2019, President Trump announced he would end some trade benefits for Cameroon because of alleged human rights abuses in the country.[174]
  • November 19, 2019—The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Chinese mattress imports hurt domestic U.S. industry, thus supporting the duties the Commerce Department had imposed.[175] The following day, the ITC also ruled in favor of the Commerce Department's duties on aluminum wire and cable imports from China.[176]
  • December 2, 2019—President Trump announced the U.S. would restore steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina.[177][178] On December 20, 2019, President dropped his tariff threat against Brazil.[179]
  • December 2, 2019—The USTR proposed imposing $2.4 billion worth in tariffs on French imports to the U.S. – with the tariff rates at 100% – in retaliation to a French digital tax.[178][180]
  • December 10, 2019—The U.S. paralyzed the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body by blocking appointments to the international trade court.[181]

Proclamations, 2019

  • July 14, 2019—President Trump proclaimed July 15 Made in America Day and the week of July 14–20 as Made in America Week.[182]

Other achievements, 2019

While the following achievements were not official United States government policy actions by the Trump Administration, they were closely related to the Trump Administration and its policies:

  • President Trump's tariffs continued to have a positive effect on manufacturers and jobs.[183] In January 2019, Republic Steel announced it would reopen a steel mill in Ohio.[184] The German company Kion considered expanding its manufacturing to the U.S. to avoid American tariffs.[185] Also in January 2019, the steel company Nucor announced that because of President Trump's tariffs, it would invest $1.3 billion to build a new steel mill in the Midwest.[186] On February 11, 2019, U.S. Steel announced it would restart construction of a plant in Alabama, something the company credited President Trump's tariffs for.[187] In April 2019, the Russian company Rusal announced it would invest $200 million into a Braidy Industries aluminum plant, the largest such plant built in the U.S. in four decades.[188] On May 2, 2019, U.S. Steel announced it would invest over $1 billion in its plants near Pittsburgh.[189] The U.S. economy continued performing well with President Trump's tariffs in place.[190]
  • March 1, 2019—In a U.S. Trade Representative report, the Trump Administration asserted U.S. sovereignty over international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, stating that "the United States remains an independent nation, and our trade policy will be made here – not in Geneva."[191]
  • April 1, 2019—China's government announced it would end loopholes in its fentanyl laws, something advocated by the Trump Administration.[192]
  • As a result of a Chinese ban on paper and plastic scraps, investment significantly increased for American plants processing recyclable items.[193]

Setbacks, 2019

The following setbacks to the MAGA agenda were often caused by Congress or officials in the Trump Administration, rather than President Trump himself. Some of them can also be considered partial achievements.


Despite false attacks from avowed globalists,[195] President Trump continued pursuing conservative trade policies in 2020.[196] He also continued making strong statements on trade issues.[197] As liberal denialists claimed that the trade war hurt America, it was reported in mid-January that China's annual GDP growth fell to a three decade-low while America had continued prospering economically (prior to the CCP pandemic).[198]

Executive actions, 2020

  • January 15, 2020—The United States and China signed a landmark trade deal that would ease tensions created in the long-lasting trade war and boost the U.S. economy by increasing exports to China.[199]
  • July 10, 2020—After France taxed U.S. tech companies, The Trump Administration imposed a 25% tariff on French products worth over 1 billion dollars.[200]

Proclamations, 2020

  • January 24, 2020—With exceptions for some countries, President Trump signed a proclamation expanding tariffs on importations of steel and aluminum products.[201]

Other achievements, 2020

  • January/February 2020—Following continuous tariffs on China, it was reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell in 2019 for the first time since 2013.[204]
  • April 12, 2020—Following a historic OPEC deal that cut global petroleum output,[205] U.S. oil prices significantly dropped towards the benefit of consumers.[206]
  • April 14, 2020—Compared to the year previous, the U.S. was able to export to China twice as many soybeans and six times as much pork.[207]
  • April 18, 2020—It was reported that the U.S. trade deficit had continued dropping, decreasing by 13% from the same period the previous year.[208]
  • May 6, 2020—It was reported that the United States had exported a record amount of pork to China in the months previous.[209]
  • June 9, 2020—U.S. exports to China had continued to surge in April following the latter's re-opening of its economy.[210]
  • June 26, 2020—Several European countries partially conceded over imposing a potential digital tax on the U.S. after the latter threatened to slap tariffs.[211]
  • July 27, 2020—The European plan to tax U.S. tech companies fell apart.[212]
  • August 5, 2020—It was reported that amidst a record increase in U.S. exports, the trade deficit fell by 7.5% in June 2020 to $50.7 billion.[213]
  • August 21, 2020—The U.S. and EU reached a trade agreement where the latter would end their tariffs against the American lobster industry.[214]

Debatable, 2020

  • January 29, 2020—President Trump signed into law the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (commonly referred to as the USMCA) to replace the globalist NAFTA.[215] However, this agreement marked only partial success of Trump's North American trade agenda. While it fixed some of the issues that had led to trade imbalances under NAFTA, it failed to curb back supranational bureaucratic oversight in any significant way. In fact, in some areas it even expanded said oversight, including on matters related to immigration.[216]


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  37. Multiple references: See also: The Trump Administration also took trade actions against smaller nations:
  38. Multiple references: Specifically regarding China: See also:
  39. Jasper, William F. (August 22, 2018). “Made In China 2025” Master Plan Has Hit a Wall Named Trump. The New American. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
    See also: President Trump's statements on revenue from U.S. tariffs on China:
  40. Multiple references: See also:
  41. Multiple references: President Trump signed the tariffs into effect the next day: See also:
  42. 42.0 42.1 Multiple references: See also:
  43. Multiple references:
  44. Multiple references: However, on August 29, 2018, President Trump signed two proclamations allowing for exemptions from the quotas enacted on South Korea, Brazil and Argentina:
  45. Multiple references: For the actual proclamations President Trump signed: The U.S. government had already collected over $110 million from the tariffs two weeks after they were imposed: See also: However, the Commerce Department approved many exemptions to the tariffs: The Trump Administration announced on May 17, 2019, that it had reached an agreement to lift the tariffs on Canada and Mexico in exchange for the two countries lifting their retaliatory tariffs along with stronger enforcement measures to prevent Chinese steel entering the U.S. through the two countries: Canada and Mexico lifted their retaliatory tariffs on May 20, 2019: More on this:
  46. Multiple references: According to Voice of America, the last time Section 301 was used was during Bill Clinton's presidency: See also:
  47. Multiple references: See also:
  48. Multiple references:
  49. Multiple references:
  50. Multiple references: China retaliated to President Trump's tariffs:
  51. Multiple references: See also:
  52. Multiple references: China's reaction: See also:
  53. Multiple references: China announced it would retaliate with its own additional tariffs: The USTR's "'exclusion' process" from the tariffs: See also:
  54. Multiple references:
  55. Multiple references: China's reaction:
  56. Multiple references:
  57. Multiple references: China's response to the tariffs: See also:
  58. Multiple references: However, some critics of China were concerned about this action: See also: Further developments:
  59. 59.0 59.1 Multiple references: Subsequent statements by President Trump: President Trump pointed out that companies could avoid those tariffs by producing in the U.S.: Stocks rose the same day as the tariffs: Trade talks between the U.S. and China held that day ended without a deal: See also:
  60. Multiple references: See also:
  61. Multiple references: See also:
  62. Multiple references:
  63. Multiple references: See also:
  64. Multiple references: Conservative criticism of the policy: See also:
  65. 65.0 65.1 Multiple references: See also:
  66. Multiple references: See also:
  67. Multiple references: Some mainstream media outlets disputed that the agreements benefited the U.S.: U.S. airlines reacted positively to the agreement:
  68. Multiple references: See also:
  69. Multiple references: See also:
  70. Multiple references:
  71. Multiple references: President Trump also made strong statements on trade shortly before leaving for the summit: See also:
  72. Multiple references: See also:
  73. Multiple references:
  74. Multiple references:
  75. Multiple references: See also:
  76. 76.0 76.1 Multiple references: In exchange for the U.S. lowering its steel tariff on Turkey, Turkey lowered tariffs on 22 U.S. imports:
  77. Multiple references:
  78. Multiple references: See also:
  79. Multiple references: See also:
  80. 80.0 80.1 Multiple references:
  81. Multiple references:
  82. Multiple references:
  83. Multiple references: See also:
  84. U.S. finalizes duties on certain steel pipe from China, India. Reuters. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  85. Multiple references:
  86. Proclamation 9768 of July 13, 2018 -- Made in America Day and Made in America Week, 2018. Federal Register. July 18, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  87. Multiple references: The relationship between the U.S. and tariffs, in general: See also:
  88. Davis, Bob; Chinni, Dante (July 19, 2018). America’s Factory Towns, Once Solidly Blue, Are Now a GOP Haven. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
    See also:
  89. Multiple references:
  90. Higgins, Sean (December 10, 2018). US steel industry booming after Trump's tariffs. Washington Examiner. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  91. Multiple references: See also: Less positive:
  92. Multiple references: See also:
  93. Multiple references:
  94. Lombardo, Cara (March 12, 2018). Nucor to Build New Florida Steel Mill as Domestic Producers Study Tariff Impact. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
    See also:
  95. Multiple references: See also:
  96. Multiple references:
  97. Binder, John (August 28, 2018). Aluminum Mill to Bring 550 Jobs Back to Kentucky Town Crippled by Free Trade. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
    See also:
  98. Multiple references:
  99. Multiple references:
  100. Multiple references: See also:
  101. Multiple references: See also:
  102. Multiple references:
  103. 103.0 103.1 Binder, John (October 12, 2018). Trump Tariffs Win Higher Wages for Michigan, Minnesota Steelworkers. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  104. Multiple references:
  105. Multiple references:
  106. Binder, John (August 16, 2018). Study: Trump Tariffs Created More than 11K American Jobs in Six Months. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  107. Binder, John (August 17, 2018). Study: 20X as Many U.S. Jobs Created from Trump Tariffs than Jobs Lost. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  108. Adelmann, Bob (November 30, 2018). Tariffs’ Upside: Two Million New Steel Industry Jobs. The New American. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  109. Multiple references:
  110. Multiple references: Higgins, Sean (December 7, 2018). Manufacturing sees strong job growth despite Trump's trade wars. Washington Examiner. Retrieved December 7, 2018. See also:
  111. Multiple references:
  112. Carney, John (November 16, 2018). Output Soars Even at U.S. Manufacturers That Make Stuff from Tariffed Steel and Aluminum. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  113. Carney, John (November 21, 2018). China Tariffs Boosted Manufacturing Orders in October. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  114. Multiple references:
  115. Langford, James (August 13, 2018). Overseas military sales surge to $63 billion despite tariff woes. Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  116. Multiple references:
  117. Multiple references:
  118. Multiple references:
  119. Multiple references: See also: President Trump's comments on trade with China:
  120. Multiple references: See also: Effect on trade between the two countries:
  121. Multiple references: The trade deficit fell again in February 2019: Later data: Earlier in the year, it was reported that the trade deficit had previously risen:
  122. Svab, Petr (May 21, 2019). Trump’s China Tariffs Have Pulled in Around $16 Billion So Far. The Epoch Times. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
    See also:
  123. Zumbrun, Josh (August 7, 2019). U.S. Collected $63 Billion in Tariffs Through June. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  124. Multiple references:
  125. Multiple references:
  126. Multiple references: See also:
  127. Thompson, Terry (November 28, 2019). Trump's new tariffs obstructed by Obama holdovers. The Washington Times. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
    See also:
  128. Multiple references: See also:
  129. Multiple references:
  130. Multiple references:
  131. Multiple references:
  132. Multiple references: See also:
  133. Multiple references:
  134. Multiple references: See also:
  135. Multiple references: President Trump also announced the tariffs and criticized the EU: See also:
  136. Multiple references:
  137. Multiple references: See also:
  138. Multiple references: The following day, the USTR mirrored President Trump's comments: See also:
  139. Multiple references: U.S. Customs and Border Protection also moved forward with the tariffs: See also:
  140. Multiple references: On May 13, 2019, the USTR released the list of products it would increase tariffs on if ordered by President Trump: Further actions: Statements by President Trump on this matter:
  141. Multiple references: Agreement details, reaction, and analysis: China made a major soybean purchase from the U.S. shortly before the agreement: Later soybean purchase developments: President Trump also allowed U.S. companies to sell to Huawei as part of the agreement:
  142. Multiple references: See also: The tariffs went into effect on September 1, 2019:
  143. Multiple references: Subsequent announcements: See also:
  144. Multiple references: See also:
  145. Multiple references: See also:
  146. Multiple references: See also: The U.S. also exempted a large number of products from the tariffs: China made some agricultural purchases from the U.S.:
  147. Multiple references: See also:
  148. Multiple references: Earlier sources regarding an agreement between the two counties: More details on the initial agreement: Tariff reductions and increased purchases announced by China: See also:
  149. Multiple references:
  150. Multiple references: See also:
  151. Multiple references: See also:
  152. Multiple references: See also:
  153. Multiple references: See also:
  154. Multiple references:
  155. Multiple references: Statements by President Trump and the White House on this matter: See also:
  156. Multiple references: Left-wing denial of this accomplishment: See also: Statements by President Trump and other officials:
  157. Multiple references: See also:
  158. Multiple references:
  159. Multiple references:
  160. U.S. imposes duties on structural steel from China, Mexico. Reuters. September 4, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  161. Multiple references: Statements by President Trump: See also:
  162. Multiple references:
  163. Multiple references: See also:
  164. Multiple references:
  165. Multiple references: See also:
  166. Multiple references: See also:
  167. Multiple references:
  168. Multiple references:
  169. Multiple references:
  170. Multiple references: See also:
  171. Multiple references: Japan's parliament ratified the agreement on December 4, 2019: See also:
  172. Multiple references: See also:
  173. Multiple references:
  174. Multiple references:
  175. Multiple references: See also:
  176. Multiple references: See also:
  177. Multiple references: See also:
  178. 178.0 178.1 Multiple references: See also:
  179. Multiple references: See also:
  180. Multiple references: See also:
  181. Multiple references: Earlier articles on the matter: See also:
  182. Proclamation 9908 of July 14, 2019 -- Made in America Day and Made in America Week, 2019. Federal Register. July 18, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  183. Multiple references: See also:
  184. Multiple references:
  185. Multiple references:
  186. Multiple references: See also:
  187. Multiple references:
  188. Multiple references:
  189. Multiple references: See also:
  190. Multiple references:
  191. Lawder, David; Alper, Alexandria (March 1, 2019). U.S. says rejects WTO's 'straitjacket' of trade obligations. Reuters. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
    See also:
  192. Multiple references: See also:
  193. Esch, Mary (May 18, 2019). China’s ban on scrap imports a boon to US recycling plants. Associated Press. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  194. Binder, John (April 22, 2019). Trump Appointees Defy ‘Buy American’ Order, Protect Chinese Manufacturing. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
    See also:
  195. Globalist Gary Cohn Falsely Claims Tariffs on China ‘Totally Hurt’ U.S.
  196. Multiple references: See also:
  197. Garcia, Victor (January 10, 2020). Trump: 'As much as I like Reagan, he was not good on trade'. Fox News. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  198. Multiple references:
  199. Multiple references:
  200. Multiple references:
  201. Multiple references:
  202. Multiple references:
  203. Two references:
  204. Multiple references:
  205. Multiple references:
  206. Crude Oil (CL:NMX)
  207. Multiple references:
  208. Congratulations! The trade deficit dream came true
  209. Two references:
  210. Multiple references:
  211. Two references:
  212. EU effort to tax tech giants falters under pressure from U.S.
  213. Multiple references:
  214. Multiple references:
  215. Multiple references: