Both parties challenged U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai repeatedly on the administration’s failure to negotiate market-opening free trade deals and even pursuing a ‘go-it-alone’ policy without consulting lawmakers on trade.


“Congress’s role in U.S. trade policy is defined by the Constitution of the United States. It is right there in Article 1 Section 8.  It is ‘black letter law,’ colleagues, and it is unacceptable to even offer the argument, otherwise.”


Democratic Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, joined by Ranking Republican Mike Crapo, who called the Biden trade policy of massive spending without market-opening trade deals, “strikingly limited”.


“American ranchers and farmers produce the best and safest food and exported 196 billion dollars in 2022. They can accomplish even more if we eliminate the high tariffs and unscientific restrictions posing as safety measures. The only tariff reduction flagged in the president’s agenda is that India will reduce its tariff on pecans to a still overly restrictive 30%.”


Crapo complained U.S. producers continue to lose ground in Asia as China, the EU, and others make deals to cut tariffs while the Biden Indo-Pacific Economic Framework doesn’t.  Trade Ambassador Tai, agreed, acknowledging tariff liberalization and tariff reductions are not a part of current negotiation.  Nevertheless, she noted was USTR is doing is bringing together critical partners in the region to improve the interoperability and compatibility between our economies.


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