International Trade Today Quotes Hal Shapiro on Trump’s Trade Policy Promises During Campaign

Hal Shapiro, an international trade partner at Akin Gump and chair of the firm’s regulatory practice steering committee, has been quoted in the International Trade Today article “Trade Policy Under Trump Largely Seen as an Open Question Despite Campaign Promises.”

The article reports there are many questions as to how President-elect Donald Trump will enact some of the trade policies he promised during his campaign for the White House. Among them, was a pledge to invoke a 45 percent tariff to counter alleged Chinese currency manipulation and a promise to raise tariffs on companies that move operations overseas.

Shapiro said Trump probably will not slap such an official designation on China right away, but if he can’t exact his desired concessions from Beijing, it’s not clear how he might respond. Despite his positions during the campaign, Shapiro said it would be legally troublesome for Trump to assess tariffs outside of a very targeted scope.

“Anything that would involve more than a rifle shot, a very specific action, would be extraordinarily complicated,” Shapiro said. “Thousands of man-hours went into negotiating [free trade] agreements, and it’s hard to understand how our trading partners would just roll over and say, ‘OK,’” to Washington raising tariffs. Shapiro added that it would be “uncharted territory” and politically dicey if Trump spiked tariffs on an “after-the-fact basis” on companies that legally move jobs overseas.