Nicole Hager, 202-224-4515
Hatch Statement on Trump Administration’s Intent to Begin Trade Negotiations with EU, Japan and the UK
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today released the following statement after the Trump administration notified Congress that it intends to initiate trade negotiations with the European Union (EU), Japan and the United Kingdom (UK):
“A trade agenda that prioritizes free trade and open markets is the best ways to defend American interests and strengthen our economy,” Hatch said. “I am pleased that the administration is pursuing new trade agreements with several of our most important trading partners in accordance with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA guarantees that Congress and the administration will work hand-in-hand so that new trade pacts achieve the high-standards necessary to advance and safeguard U.S. interests and ensure continued economic growth. Today’s notification begins a 90-day clock where Congress will work closely with Ambassador Lighthizer so that we can strengthen our relationships with these important allies.”
Background: As one of the chief architects of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) law, Hatch fought to secure provisions that would strengthen the role of Congress and require proper consultation between the legislative and executive branches during trade negotiations. Last week, he hosted a meeting with the administration and members of the Senate Finance Committee, as well as the Senate Advisory Group on Negotiations (SAGON) – a requirement established by TPA that must be met before the administration can move forward with a notification of intent to enter into the negotiations for a trade agreement. Under TPA, after notifying Congress of its intent to begin trade negotiations, the administration must consult with Congress for 90 days before launching those negotiations. Last month, Hatch encouraged the administration to seek a trade deal with Japan.
Together, trade with the EU, Japan and UK accounts for more than $1.5 trillion in goods and services.
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