Republican Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, grilled President Biden’s trade agenda for benefitting China instead of American workers.
The House Ways & Means Committee brought U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to testify about the Biden administration’s trade policy Friday. (RELATED: ‘Is This A Joke?’: Rep. Jason Smith Presses Janet Yellen On IRS Funding Boost)
Under the new Republican majority, America has an opportunity to establish a new path forward on trade that puts American workers first and hold China accountable. pic.twitter.com/m2JCPITVCb
— Rep. Jason Smith (@RepJasonSmith) March 24, 2023
“Without a trade agenda that puts workers and jobs first, the United States is falling behind China and other competitors. China is forging ahead with an aggressive trade agenda that cheats America, shapes the global playing field in its favor, and threatens key American supply chains and the livelihoods of American farmers and workers. But rather than lead on trade, the Biden Administration’s tax and trade policies surrender the world’s customers to China and allow it to profit using taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Smith said in his opening statement.
“The Biden Administration unfortunately has refused to recognize that the Constitution requires Congress be at the center of U.S. trade policy. Through so-called ‘trade frameworks’ that sidestep Congress and fail to establish durable agreements, this Administration is fueling the supply chain crisis and plunging American workers, farmers, and manufacturers into prolonged uncertainty,” Smith continued.
Tai touted the Biden administration’s trade agenda in her opening statement. “Under President Biden’s leadership, this administration is writing a new story on trade, one that puts working families first and reflects more voices across the American economy.”
“We are restoring fairness in our trade and economic system for you. This means vigorously enforcing existing commitments to reestablish confidence and trust in trade. And this starts with the USMCA, which has a very special relationship with this committee, which Congress and this committee passed on a strong bipartisan basis,” Tai continued.
She testified about how the Biden administration is enforcing worker protections as part of the USMCA, the trade agreement signed by President Trump to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Tai went on to discuss the Biden administration’s trade initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the Americas Partnership For Prosperity and the Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative.
“Another component of our trade agenda, of course, is realigning the U.S.-China relationship. That means making groundbreaking investments here at home to compete from a position of strength. That also means renewing our engagement with our partners and allies to develop new tools to address the challenges posed by the PRC,” Tai said.
She is conducting a comprehensive review of Section 301 tariffs on imports from China. Tai says she is looking at how American economic interests can be served in response to China’s unfair trade practices. Tai previously advocated for maintaining the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods when President Biden considered relaxing them to combat inflation.