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: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data Democratic senator introduces bill to jail tech executives for lying about privacy violations Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs MORE (Ore.) and Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCritics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyHere are the Senate Democrats backing a Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call Ex-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (Pa.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowPoll shows Sen. Gary Peters with slim lead over GOP rival in Michigan Republican challenger to Gary Peters in Michigan raises over million USDA nixes release of multiple reports over researcher exodus MORE (Mich.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback Senate Democrats aim to repeal rules blocking Trump tax law workarounds Congress briefed on Iran after Saudi oil attacks MORE (Md.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPaul blocks Senate vote on House-passed Syria resolution House to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (N.J.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperInstead of raising the gas tax, stop wasting money on frivolous projects To stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists MORE (Del.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy MORE (Colo.), and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellOvernight Energy: Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest| Democrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records| Trump's plan to boost ethanol miffs corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits 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.