Washington, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statements after United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, pursuant to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act, sent letters to Congress expressing the Administration’s intent to enter into three different trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Chairman Brady stated:
“I welcome these letters stating that Ambassador Lighthizer intends to begin trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom after additional consultation with Congress. I commend President Trump for working to open up more customers in new markets for U.S. farmers and companies. The progress that has been made to prepare for such negotiations is encouraging.
“These three economies are some of our largest and most important trading partners, but they are also markets in which U.S. farmers, manufacturers, and service providers face significant barriers. New, ambitious, and high-standard trade agreements with each of these economies would expand our ability to sell ‘made in America’ products around the globe and deepen our partnership with these close trading partners and vital allies.
“I look forward to consulting with the Administration to develop detailed U.S. negotiating objectives that comply with the requirements of TPA, so we can obtain the strongest and most ambitious possible trade agreements for U.S. workers, companies, and farmers.”
Trade Subcommittee Chairman Reichert added:
“I am pleased by today’s announcement demonstrating a formal intent to begin negotiations with some of our greatest trading partners: Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. I applaud Ambassador Lighthizer and his team for this progress and urge the Administration to consult extensively with Congress as the scope and objectives for these negotiations are set. With 40 percent of jobs tied to trade in my home state of Washington, strong and ambitious trade agreements with these allies would be beneficial for our workers, businesses, and farmers.”
Background: Under the requirements of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Trade Promotion Authority Act, these negotiations can begin after 90 days, which allows for intensive consultation with Members of Congress and stakeholders regarding the negotiating objectives for the talks. TPA also requires the publication of detailed negotiating objectives at least 30 days before the start of negotiations.