Since President Trump's inauguration, the Administration has been very active. As of August 28, 2017, the Administration had authored 45 Executive Orders and 32 Presidential Memoranda, some with implications for trade, energy markets and energy market participants. A large proportion of these were not directed at energy or trade, a point that reflects the sweeping changes that the Trump Administration has attempted to usher into effect. But, the potential for Trump to impact energy markets and international trade have been the subject of much discussion, and uncertainty abounds.
The subject of international trade took a heightened emphasis in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election. A key part of the campaign discussion was existing and potential free trade agreements to which the US is, or could be, a signatory, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) taking center stage. Then candidate Trump promised to renegotiate trade agreements to secure better deals for the United States, which included reducing bilateral trade deficits, promoting domestic production of various goods (and increasing domestic employment), and supporting export-oriented enterprise. Indeed, much of what was said on the campaign trail left many with the impression that the Trump Administration would pursue a mercantilist agenda.
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