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Ways and Means Committee Democrats Call on Trump Administration to Implement USMCA Enforcement Requirement as Congress Intended

May 11, 2020
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led Ways and Means Committee Democrats in expressing their concerns about the Administration’s failure to establish the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (Task Force) by the authorized deadline. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act became law in January and required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish the Task Force by April 28, 2020.

“Congress approved the USMCA Implementation Act a few months ago with a robust level of bipartisan and bicameral support not seen in two decades,” wrote the Ways and Means Democrats in their letter to the Administration. “Key to this bipartisan support was a strengthening of enforcement mechanisms in both the trade agreement and in the implementing legislation. Enforcement is what gives the rules in a trade agreement teeth and meaning.”

The lawmakers continued: “Your compliance with the statutory requirements in the USMCA Implementation Act is a measure of your commitment to trade enforcement in general, and to the USMCA’s implementation and success. We are disturbed by the fact that the April 28 deadline has passed without the fulfillment of your obligation and without any explanation.”

The Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee concluded by admonishing the Administration: “In renewing the bonds of North America’s economic and trade relationships and boosting North American competitiveness to meet the challenges posed by China’s authoritarian, non-market-based economic practices, a lax approach to enforcement is unacceptable.”

The full text of the letter is available HERE.

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