WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statements after the Committee’s bipartisan meeting with United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer:
“Today we had a productive meeting about how we can continue to grow jobs, paychecks, and our economy through strong trade agreements. We know in this increasingly connected and changing world, it’s not enough to buy American. We have to sell American throughout the globe. And today we had the opportunity to discuss with our nation’s trade Ambassador the steps we need to take together – Congress and the Administration – to break down barriers for our manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and service providers to do just that: sell ‘Made in America’ goods and services to customers near and far.
“Ambassador Lighthizer shares our commitment to modernizing NAFTA and other trade agreements to make sure Americans get the best deal possible. I want to make sure we hold our trading partners accountable through strong, enforceable commitments with effective dispute settlement, including ISDS, because it creates U.S. jobs. People in my district and across the country are counting on us to get this right, which is why we all have to stay at the table. Congress has the Constitutional responsibility over trade – and we’re committed to fulfilling our duty in close coordination with the Administration.
“Finally, as a result of this meeting, there is bipartisan agreement that USTR needs its deputies confirmed by the Senate as soon as possible.” Chairman Brady said.
“It was a pleasure meeting with Ambassador Lighthizer again this morning to discuss how we can best support American workers, farmers, and businesses through trade. Our trade agreements have greatly benefited communities across the country, but we can and should update our agreements and make improvements. I’ve made clear that the best way to improve our trade agreements is to require ambitious and fully enforceable commitments from our trading partners. In addition, we must create certainty and confidence in the relationship so that foreign customers want to buy from our companies and benefit our constituents. I have spent my time in Congress fighting to keep Washington’s workers and businesses globally competitive as they sell their high-quality goods and services around the world, including passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. I remain committed to strong agreements and working with Ambassador Lighthizer and his team to create new opportunities for my constituents,” Chairman Reichert said.
Late last month, Chairman Reichert led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the NAFTA negotiations in Montreal, Canada, where they met with senior government officials from all three countries and the U.S. negotiating team. Ways and Means Committee Members will continue working together with the Administration throughout the NAFTA negotiations.