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Congressman Richard Neal

Representing the 1st District of Massachusetts

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Neal, Pascrell Statements on 2017 USTR Trade Policy Agenda

March 1, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) today released the following statements after the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) submitted its 2017 Trade Policy Agenda to Congress:

“This report is short on specifics and raises more questions than it answers,” said Ranking Member Neal. “It does identify a number of legitimate issues that I and many other House Democrats have been raising for years, such as foreign government subsidies, theft of intellectual property, and currency manipulation. But it doesn’t provide anything approaching an actual ‘agenda’ for how to address any issues. The Administration is right to criticize the WTO international dispute settlement process, but when it says it will ‘aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy,’ it sounds like the Administration is considering a far too drastic response. We need to fix the problems with the current international trading system, not scrap the system altogether. As we move forward, Congress needs answers to what this Administration’s trade agenda really is – and we need them sooner rather than later.”

“While I appreciate the Administration recognizing issues like foreign government subsidies, currency manipulation, and dispute settlement provisions, where are their solutions? This “Trade Agenda” lacks a coherent plan to tackle these issues that Democrats have been raising for decades,” said Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Pascrell. “We await action from the Trump Administration on currency manipulation and the range of trade issues that have harmed American workers – those same anti-worker trade policies pushed by members of his party in Congress. I would like to see if they will support these ideas and come up with a genuine plan to address them, with the involvement of those of us in Congress who care about these issues.”