Levin Statement on Trump Administration’s Trade Policy Agenda

Mar 1, 2017 Issues: Trade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) today issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s 2017 Trade Policy Agenda released earlier today:

“The 2017 Trade Agenda released by the Trump Administration continues to highlight problems with trade that many of us have highlighted for decades, but it fails to describe the specific steps they would take to address them.  Understanding that they are awaiting the arrival of a confirmed United States Trade Representative (USTR), I look forward to the more detailed report they have indicated they will submit.

“I have long fought to stand up for U.S. workers and businesses in the global marketplace including  in the Uruguay Round where I helped lead the effort to safeguard strong U.S. laws against countries dumping their products in the U.S. and causing major job loss.  Unfortunately, the manner in which they describe “sovereignty” to anchor many of their principles comes with a downside that they fail to acknowledge.  Too often “sovereignty” is used as a red herring by others to avoid changing their laws which are blocking U.S. exports or disadvantaging U.S. workers.

“We insist on reasonable changes to other nation’s intellectual property protections, regulations that unjustifiably discriminate against U.S. products in foreign markets, and labor laws to name just a few, and we would never accept the argument that a country in a trading arrangement with us won’t act because their sovereignty is being impinged.  The very nature of the global trading system, and bi-lateral trade agreements are changes in the laws and practices of the countries involved.

“We need to fix the global trading system not withdraw from it.

“Finally, the stated objective to “enforce labor provisions in existing agreements…” is completely unacceptable since many of our Agreements have no enforceable provisions, and others have very inadequate “enforce your own law” provisions.  We must insist that countries we trade with abide by international labor standards and allow their workers to join unions and bargain collectively as this is a major component, as very true for Mexico and NAFTA to make more competitive the playing field between nations.”