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Wyden Statement on Bipartisan Meeting with the President on Trade
WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a comment following a meeting with the President and Chairmen Hatch, Brady, and Ranking Member Neal to discuss United States trade policy:
“As I’ve said many times, NAFTA falls far short of the type of trade policy that can deliver for today’s more modern North American economy. It has long been recognized that the trade relationship between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico needs an upgrade. The president today indicated he wants to change NAFTA, but did not specify what changes he would seek, or how he would achieve those changes.”
NAFTA was negotiated by Presidents Bush and Clinton and passed by Congress in 1994. It has not been updated in more than 20 years. As part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations under President Obama, Canada and Mexico agreed to new commitments with respect to a range of issues including labor, environment, the digital economy, as well as additional market access for U.S. farmers. Those negotiations were conducted pursuant to trade promotion authority requirements established in 2015 by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act. The enhanced transparency and consultation requirements reflect the fact that under the Constitution it is Congress, not the President, is responsible for regulating foreign commerce.
Congress also passed new requirements to enhance trade enforcement as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. That legislation, among other things, established a host of new procedures to prevent importers from evading U.S. trade laws, to protect against counterfeit merchandise, and to increase resources for trade enforcement.
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