Lighthizer set to testify before Senate Finance on trade next week

Lighthizer set to testify before Senate Finance on trade next week
© Greg Nash

U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' MORE will testify on Thursday at the Senate Finance Committee on the Trump administration’s trade agenda.

Lighthizer, the nation’s top trade official, is expected to face questions from the panel about President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE’s plan to levy hefty tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel, among other trade priorities.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have made clear that tariffs are nothing but a tax on American businesses and consumers and I look forward to discussing with Amb. Lighthizer how the administration can mitigate the damage they cause,” said Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDrug prices are declining amid inflation fears The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30 Financial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted MORE (R-Utah).

Last week, Trump announced steep tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum over national security issues. 

So far, Canada and Mexico, both partners with the United States in the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement are exempt from the policy that is expected to go into effect next week.

Earlier this month, Hatch wrote a letter to the president urging him not to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports because of their potential to undermine the success of tax reform.

Hatch said he expects the Finance panel to ask Lighthizer more about how the Trump administration would use an extension of trade promotion authority, which it has requested as part of its trade policy agenda.

Lighthizer is set to appear before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, the day before Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossChina sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony Commerce Department unit gathered intel on employees, census critics: report MORE will talk to the House panel.

The hearings come at a time when lawmakers on Capitol Hill are questioning the administration's moves on trade amid a faster growing economy.