Taxpayers group calls on USTR to livestream trade hearings

Taxpayers group calls on USTR to livestream trade hearings

The National Taxpayers Union is urging the Trump administration to livestream its six days of trade hearings set to start next week.

The NTU sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE arguing that the public will get a better idea about the Section 301 tariffs President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE wants to impose on billions more in Chinese imports.

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Since most Americans will not able to view next week's hearings in person, streaming the hearings would help provide for an informed electorate while affirming the administration's commitment to transparency," said Bryan Riley, director of the NTU's Free Trade Initiative, in the letter sent Friday.

The hearings begin on Monday and run through Aug. 27 to discuss the additional $200 billion in tariffs Trump is threatening to impose on a broad range of good from China coming into the United States.

The tit-for-tat tariffs have brought the world's two largest economies to the brink of a trade war. 

NTU has expressed opposition to what it calls "protectionist tariffs" and has been urging the Trump administration to be more transparent across the federal government. 

"Allowing the hearings to be broadcast would ensure that the testimony provided to USTR are available for everyone to evaluate," Riley wrote.

Trump has already hit China with tariffs on $50 billion of its goods over what the U.S. argues are unfair trade practices such as the theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer.

China struck back with an equal amount of retaliatory duties and said it would ramp up the trade dispute if Trump moved forward with plans for billions more in tariffs.

In retaliation, the president vowed to slap Beijing with tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.