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Trump orders study of US trade deficit, import duty evasion

[JURIST] President Donald Trump [official profile] on Friday released an executive order [text] instructing the Commerce Department and the US Trade Representative [official websites] to study causes of the US trade deficit in advance of Chinese President Xi Jinping's [BBC profile] visit next week. Trump urged [remarks], "[w]e're going to investigate all trade abuses, and, based on those findings, we will take necessary and lawful action to end those many abuses." The order will review those nations with a trade surplus with the US, including China, with a $347 billion surplus last year, followed by Japan ($69 billion surplus), Germany ($65 billion), Mexico ($63 billion), Ireland ($36 billion) and Vietnam ($32 billion). This order appears to be a part of Trump's campaign promises to bring manufacturing back to the US, an interest that returns to the top of his to-do list following the Trump administrations failure to replace [JURIST report] Obamacare last week.

Trump's administration has been fraught with controversy in its infancy. Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate held its first hearing [JURIST report] on Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Last week the FBI director confirmed [JURIST report] investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Also this week, former US Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn requested immunity [JURIST report] in exchange for his potential testimony on Russian interference in the election, according to a letter from his attorney, Robert Kelner. A few days before a federal judge granted [JURIST report] the state of Hawaii's request to convert the temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking Trump's travel ban, granted earlier this month, into a preliminary injunction. The TRO in question blocked Trump's second travel ban, his first having been blocked [JURIST report] by federal courts.

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