Tidbits from the article;
President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to unveil an aggressive trade crackdown in the coming weeks that is likely to include new tariffs aimed at countering China’s and other economic competitors’ alleged unfair trade practices, according to three administration officials.
By turning to trade, Trump is returning to a key campaign pledge that many advisers worry he did not deliver on in his first year in office. And with limited prospects for passing legislation, trade is one of a handful of major policy areas on which the president can act without having to rely on Congress.
Amid widespread concern that the president’s impulsive decision-making could spark a trade war, Trump’s advisers have been organizing weekly meetings since last spring to weigh their options — including where to set any tariffs and import quotas and how much to single out China — in the various outstanding trade cases in the hopes of presenting the president with well-researched policy proposals.
Trump’s advisers are deeply divided on trade, with Cohn and others calling for a more moderate, targeted approach, and others, like Navarro, advocating for sweeping actions. In the past, the meetings have sometimes turned into shouting matches, but aides said they have been less tense over the past couple of months.
After a year of bluster on trade, a series of deadlines will force Trump to decide just how aggressively he is willing to use U.S. trade remedy laws, given the likelihood of retaliation from China, the European Union and other trade partners.
The pending trade actions are controversial, with the potential to cause serious friction with U.S. trading partners and raise questions about Trump's commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system. But the options are also legal under U.S. trade law, and the amount of any blowback will depend on how restrictive any measure imposed by Trump is and how many countries are hit.
It could get ugly, if he decides to go the harsh route here. His decisions, with respect to Chine especially, will tell us if the bromance with Xiping is over. I suspect Canada and Mexico are also on the target list, so life with them couild get more difficult as well.