Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump

Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Democrats on Friday called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE to provide greater transparency on the White House’s trade policy.

Senator Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenErnst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE (Ore.), ranking member of the Finance Committee, with nine other panel Democrats, urged the president to direct federal heads responsible for trade policy, such as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department, to follow transparency rules in trade negotiations and release trade reports to the public.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Recent decisions by the administration to begin trade negotiations with [South] Korea without complying with basic transparency requirements set out in U.S. law and the failure of the administration to release several trade-related reports raise serious questions regarding the administration’s commitment to openness with the American public when it comes to trade policy,” the senators wrote in their letter to Trump.

The senators specifically criticized the Trump administration for failing to provide the necessary formal notice of negotiations or objectives to Congress on the recent start of trade talks with South Korea.

They said that the administration hasn't consulted House or Senate advisory groups, either. 

Under the trade promotion authority law, the White House is required to consult with Congress on any trade negotiation.

"As it stands the public has been kept in the dark as to the administration’s specific intentions regarding the renegotiation of a free trade agreement that is second only to NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] in size," the senators wrote. 

"Neither the USTR nor the Commerce Department has released a range of reports the president directed them to prepare last year on the causes of significant trade deficits, government procurement and violations or abuses of World Trade Organization rules," they senators wrote.

The senators also urged the president to ensure that Commerce completes its reports to the president on the Section 232 investigations of steel and aluminum imports and releases them to the public.

On Thursday night, Commerce sent the steel report results to Trump. He has 90 days to decide what to do next. 

Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats worried about Trump's growing strength Senate Democrats queasy over Sanders as nominee Schumer: Trump address 'demagogic, undignified, highly partisan' MORE (Md.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students Trump under pressure to renew last nuke treaty with Russia Celebrating and expanding upon five years of the ABLE  Act MORE (Pa.), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellThree lessons from BIPA for data privacy legislation Swing votes steal spotlight in marathon Trump impeachment Q&A Hillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus MORE (Wash.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony US prosecutors bring new charges against China's Huawei Lawmakers grill Census Bureau officials after report on cybersecurity issues MORE (Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (N.J.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperConsensus forming for ambitious climate goal: Net zero pollution Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Democratic senator gives EPA a D-minus on implementing PFAS action plan MORE (Del.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats pan Trump's budget proposal as 'dead on arrival' Trump unveils .8 trillion budget that backtracks on deal with Congress End of impeachment trial to leave deep scars in Senate MORE (R.I.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowGAO launches investigation into Trump aid for farmers Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength GAO to review Trump administration's billion farm bailout MORE (Mich.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetToward 'Super Tuesday' — momentum, money and delegates Trump seeks split-screen moments in early primary states Sanders calls James Carville 'a political hack' MORE (Colo.) signed the letter.