Tai before House Ways and Means after contentious Senate hearing
|Trade Representative Katherine Tai is scheduled to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee today after a contentious hearing at the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.|
The Ways and Means hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building and will be lives-treamed.
Tai is expected to deliver much the same testimony that she provided at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.
Both Democrats and Republicans criticized Tai at the Finance hearing, particularly on agricultural issues.
|Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said, ”I have real concerns that USTR isn’t doing enough to break down barriers our exporters face.”|
“For example, there’s old red tape preventing eastern Oregon potato farmers from shipping fresh potatoes into Japan. That’s an estimated $150 million market.
“Pacific Northwest apples and pears are blocked from the behemoth Australian market. Oregon wheat — upwards of 90% of which is exported — suffers from high tariffs in markets around the Pacific Rim. Vietnam has a litany of restrictive digital practices that hurt Oregon start-ups.
“The administration should be taking every opportunity to fix these issues — but it isn’t clear USTR is even discussing them as part of its Indo-Pacific Framework,” Wyden said.
“I’ll draw a line here — the U.S. cannot conclude agreements with Japan, Indonesia, or the EU that leave issues facing our exporters unaddressed.”
|“The potential of the American people is staggering; what the administration proposes as a trade negotiations and enforcement agenda is strikingly limited,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the ranking member of the committee|
“American ranchers and farmers produce the world’s best and safest food, and exported $196 billion in 2022,” Crapo said. “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%. Instead of aggressively challenging non-science based safety measures, the administration has only this month initiated ‘technical consultations’ on Mexico’s biotech restrictions.”
Ag & Politics