House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today announced that the Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on President Obama’s trade policy agenda with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. The hearing will take place on Thursday, April 3, 2014, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:30 A.M.
In view of the limited time available to hear the witness, oral testimony at this hearing will be from the invited witness only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.
International trade is essential to advancing U.S. economic growth and job creation. While the United States is the largest economy and trading nation in the world, 95 percent of the world’s consumers are abroad. Accordingly, the future success of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers is integrally tied with continuing America’s strong commitment to finding new markets, expanding existing ones, and effectively dealing with market access barriers for U.S. goods, services, and investment. To further the trade agenda and to set forth procedures to enhance Congressional authorities in shaping and implementing trade agreements, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance Committee leaders introduced in January the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 (H.R. 3830). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation establishes new and updated Congressional trade negotiating objectives that direct the Administration, significantly enhance requirements for consultation and information-sharing with Congress before, during, and after trade negotiations, and provide rules for Congressional consideration of trade agreements and their implementing bills, ultimately ensuring that Congress has the final say in approving any trade agreement. The legislation preserves the constitutional role and fulfills the legislative responsibility of Congress with respect to trade agreements. At the same time, the process ensures certain and expeditious action on the results of the negotiations and on the implementing bill, without amendment.
In addition to TPA, this hearing will provide an opportunity to explore with Ambassador Froman how the President’s trade agenda will create new and expanded opportunities for U.S. companies, workers, farmers, and ranchers, and how TPA is crucial to this strategy. Those opportunities include ongoing negotiations such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations, as well as post-Doha negotiations at the World Trade Organization, such as expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and a WTO agreement on environmental goods. In addition, the hearing will examine important enforcement priorities, including trade-restrictive practices and non-tariff barriers from major emerging economies that prevent U.S. companies from competing on a level playing field, as well as various bilateral and multilateral trade issues and concerns. Finally, Ambassador Froman’s testimony will provide an opportunity to discuss Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiations with China, India, and others, as well as new BIT and investment policy opportunities; discussions in other bilateral and multilateral forums; and the trade and investment relationship with new and emerging trading partners.
In announcing this hearing, Chairman Camp said, “Seeking new markets for U.S. goods, services, and investment, while ensuring enforcement of our existing agreements is key to driving strong economic growth and job creation here in the United States. U.S. trade policy is at a crossroads. We have the opportunity to complete new trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiations with the European Union, as well as the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations and other important trade initiatives. However, trade promotion authority is essential to concluding all of these efforts, and our bipartisan, bicameral bill empowers Congress and provides important direction from Congress to get these agreements done right. I call on the President to actively engage to secure broad bipartisan support for this bill. We must also continue to develop new trade and investment opportunities and enforce our trading rights with important trading partners, including China, India, and Latin America. I look forward to hearing Ambassador Froman lay out the Administration’s plan to advance U.S. economic opportunities around the world.”
FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
The hearing will provide an opportunity to explore with Ambassador Froman current and future trade issues such as: (1) passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014; (2) seeking to conclude a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement this year; (3) negotiating with the European Union for a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; (4) negotiating a Trade in Services Agreement that increases access for all sectors of our economy; (5) improving our important trade relationship with major emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil, and addressing their trade barriers; (6) ensuring appropriate trade enforcement efforts; (7) advancing WTO negotiations, including “post-Doha” issues such as Information Technology Agreement expansion and an agreement for trade in environmental goods; (8) negotiating Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with China, India, and others, and exploring new BITs and investment opportunities; (9) establishing long-term, closer ties with important trading partners; and (10) renewing the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences and other trade preference programs.
DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, https://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. ATTACH your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on April 17, 2014. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.
2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.
The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.