Nine Dem senators say hiring freeze hurting trade enforcement

Nine Dem senators say hiring freeze hurting trade enforcement
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Nine Democratic senators urged the White House on Thursday to end a federal hiring freeze for employees working on U.S. trade enforcement efforts.

The Senate Finance Committee members sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to reverse course for federal government employees responsible for improving the nation's trade enforcement. 

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“During your campaign you described trade enforcement as the center of your plan for trade reform,” they wrote.

“Freezing hiring for the very agencies that will be essential to fulfilling this objective runs contrary to your own campaign promises and undermines long-running bipartisan efforts to enhance trade enforcement throughout the federal government.”

The letter was sent by Finance ranking member Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (Ore.) and Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownMnuchin says he and Pelosi have agreed to restart coronavirus stimulus talks Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Remote work poses state tax challenges MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GAO report finds brokers offered false info on coverage for pre-existing conditions Catholic group launches .7M campaign against Biden targeting swing-state voters MORE (Pa.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSunday Shows: Trump's court pick dominates Booker says he will ask Amy Coney Barrett if she will recuse herself from presidential election-related cases Schumer says Trump tweet shows court pick meant to kill off ObamaCare MORE (Mich.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  MORE (Md.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (N.J.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperEnergy innovation bill can deliver jobs and climate progress The conservative case for phasing out hydrofluorocarbons Democrat asks for probe of EPA's use of politically appointed lawyers MORE (Del.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Next crisis, keep people working and give them raises MORE (Colo.), and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (Wash.).

Trump announced the federal hiring freeze on Jan. 23. 

Congress cleared a customs enforcement measure in 2015 aimed a tackling many issues within the system. 

The lawmakers said that, for example, producers of steel and softwood lumber are relying on investigators and attorneys at the Commerce Department to address unfair trade practices harming U.S. workers and communities.

They also pointed to the need for trade specialists and border agents at Customs and Border Protection to investigate companies that are failing to pay import duties

The senators said "the timing of the freeze is particularly problematic given that several of these agencies are implementing new enforcement tools" that were in the customs enforcement measure.