Washington – Business Roundtable President & CEO Joshua Bolten issued the following statement as Congressional trade hearings take place this week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross:
“As President Trump requests a three-year TPA extension, Congress should closely examine the Administration’s overall trade strategy and its effects on America’s businesses, workers, and consumers. TPA is a vital tool for Congress and the Executive Branch to work together to complete high-standard trade agreements. We want to see TPA used effectively on behalf of America’s businesses and workers to pursue new trade agreements that expand trade and create strong enforceable rules to knock down unfair trade barriers in other countries.
“We appreciate members of Congress pressing Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Ross on the direction of the Administration’s trade policy. Unilaterally imposing tariffs under Sections 232 and 301 will only stifle job creation, reduce the competitiveness of businesses, and increase prices for American families. Instead, the Administration should pursue a comprehensive strategy that is coordinated with U.S. allies to address global overcapacity in steel and aluminum and unfair trade barriers in China. Business Roundtable supports Administration efforts to modernize NAFTA, but urges the Administration to abandon several USTR proposals that would weaken NAFTA and harm U.S. economic interests.”