Trump set to target Ireland's 'unfair' trade advantage

Ireland is running one of the world's biggest trade surpluses with the US...

Trump set to target Ireland's 'unfair' trade advantage

Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Ireland has been identified amongst a group of countries which have built an unfair trade advantage with the US (according to the US).

Donald Trump is expected to sign Executive Orders today, to launch a study into these alleged unfair practices and perhaps ordering the collection of duties from countries identified as selling products into the US at low prices.

The US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross told media last night that the President’s order would focus on countries that have a "chronic" trade surplus with the US and that Ireland had the fifth highest trade surplus with the US last year, valued at up to $36bn.

In Ireland's case, this imbalance comes principally from pharmaceuticals, manufactured abroad for Irish-registered American multinationals and exported directly to the US.

China has been named as the country with the greatest trading advantage, followed by Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Ireland.

Pharma links between the US and Ireland were one of the topics of discussion when Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Donald Trump during his St Patrick's Day trip to the US.

This comes ahead of the US President's first meeting with Chinese President Xi next week.

He expects this sit down to be a, "very difficult one."