Hill, LaHood pleased with Trump’s trade negotiation plans with UK, EU, Japan
U.S. Reps. French Hill (R-AR) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) welcomed news this week that the Trump administration planned to negotiate trade deals with the United Kingdom, Japan and the European Union (EU).
“I’m pleased to hear the good news,” Rep. Hill said on Oct. 17.
The UK and the United States, in particular, he said, “are the first and fifth-largest economies in the world, respectively, and by working on trade priorities consistent with congressional objectives, I’m confident that we will grow, expand and improve opportunities that both benefit American workers and those in the United Kingdom.”
Rep. LaHood called the announcement made by United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer “welcome news for farmers, manufacturers and businesses of all sizes” in his home state of Illinois.
“As I have stated time and time again, free trade is vital to the economic prosperity in Illinois’ 18th District,” he said. “With 95 percent of the world’s population living outside of the United States, expanding and opening markets around the world for our exporters will allow them to remain competitive in the global economy.”
USTR Lighthizer informed Congress on Tuesday in three notification letters sent to members that the administration would open up separate trade talks with the UK, EU and Japan “as soon as practicable, but no earlier than 90 days from the date of this notice.”
In officially notifying Congress, the USTR adheres to procedures set out in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 – often referred to as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – which requires ongoing consultations with Congress. In accordance with the TPA, the USTR will publish objectives for the trade talks at least 30 days before formal negotiations start, according to Lighthizer, who said the United States will begin negotiations with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after it exits the EU in March 2019.
“We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” Lighthizer said in a statement.
The announcements follow the administration’s recently successful renegotiation of NAFTA with Mexico and Canada in what is now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement. Congress is slated to vote on that agreement next year.
“I’ve had the privilege of working closely with UK Member of Parliament Rehman Chishti on ways to better strengthen the U.S.-U.K. friendship through bilateral trade, economic opportunities and more,” Rep. Hill said. “Although I am pleased to see the administration begin negotiations with America’s economic allies, I have offered a constructive review of the administration’s approach on steel and aluminum tariffs and will continue to encourage the administration to ensure our trade policy is mutually beneficial for our economic allies and American workers.”
Rep. LaHood said he appreciates the administration’s trade negotiation efforts with the EU and the two countries.
“This is an important step towards high-standard trade and I look forward to consulting with both the administration and my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to ensure the needs of farmers and businesses in central and west-central Illinois are priorities in these negotiations,” said Rep. LaHood.