From the Overview: "Since taking office, the Trump Administration has used the overall and bilateral U.S. trade deficits as one of its barometers for evaluating the success or failure of the global trading system, U.S. trade policy, and trade agreements. In an effort to reduce the trade deficit and for other policy objectives, the Administration has renegotiated existing trade agreements, withdrawn from or suspended negotiations on other trade agreements, initiated new agreements, and placed tariffs on a range of imports. Previous administrations and Members of Congress, while expressing concern, have not legislated policies specifically to reduce the trade deficit. The Trump Administration also has advocated for depreciating the dollar against other major currencies, reasoning that a weaker dollar would increase U.S. exports and reduce the nation's trade deficit. Additionally, the Administration contends that certain countries are manipulating their currencies to give their exports a price advantage. On February 3, 2020, the Commerce Department issued a rule that allows currency manipulation potentially to be considered as a domestic subsidy under U.S. countervailing duty laws. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded in its July 2020 report on external balances that current accounts and currencies may be under- or over-valued at times, but this largely reflected domestic economic policies. Economists have raised concerns about the broader long-term impact on the U.S. economy of financing trade deficits."
CRS In Focus, IF11430
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/