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Trumping Trade Orthodoxy

Written by IIEP


 Friday, February 3rd, 2017
9:00AM – 4:00PM
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW
Lindner Commons, 6th Floor

The conference will feature leading lawyers, economists, and trade practitioners who will focus on what President-elect Trump can, and cannot, do to fundamentally reorient trade policy without congressional action or new administrative powers.

This conference is hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy at George Washington University. For more of our research on trade, please visit our webpage at

Panels will include:


8:15 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration and Breakfast
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM: Opening Remarks and Introduction, Michael Moore (George Washington University)

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM: Trade Remedies

The President has substantial leeway for initiating various trade remedy actions (antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguards). U.S. trade law practice and procedure may limit the scope of imposing duties under these provisions.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM: China as a ‘Currency Manipulator’

The U.S. Treasury may determine that a country manipulates its currency but only under certain statutory conditions. Would China qualify under those provisions? What consequences might it face if China is declared a “currency manipulator”?

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM: Coffee Break

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Renegotiating/Leaving Existing Trade Agreements

U.S. trade agreements such as NAFTA allow for either Party to announce a withdrawal with six months’ notice. Can President Trump do so without congressional approval? What would be the impact on U.S. trade and investment flows if he were to follow through with such threats?

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch


1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Tax Policy, Investment Agreements, & Foreign Direct Investment

President Trump has suggested imposing 35 percent tariffs on individual U.S. firms that offshore manufacturing jobs. Can the Administration single out individual companies in this way? How might such threats increase uncertainty on inward and outward U.S. foreign investment?

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM: Possible WTO Disputes

An aggressive new U.S. trade policy may result in formal disputes with WTO members. What are the most likely cases that might arise? How might the U.S. economy be affected if the WTO rules in favor of those who contest new U.S. approaches in trade policy?

3:45 PM – 4:00 PM: Concluding Remarks

About the author


The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP), which is located within the Elliott School of International Affairs, serves as a catalyst for high quality, multi-disciplinary, and non-partisan research on policy issues surrounding economic globalization. The Institute research program helps develop effective policy options and academic analysis in a time of growing controversies about international economic integration in many countries around the world. The institute's work also encompasses policy responses for those who face continued poverty and financial crises despite worldwide economic growth. Affiliated faculty have appointments in the departments of economics, history, and political science as well as the law and business schools.