February 21 | By: Alan Wolff.
Much is in the news lately about the rule of law, particularly as it has applies to immigration. But there are also laws that govern how U.S. trade policy is supposed to be made and implemented that have not received much notice, and there is, of course, the Congress which should have a central role. All were by-passed when President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which was poised to be a landmark trade deal to foster America’s national interest in Asia.
By a law enacted in 1962 signed by John F. Kennedy, and again by the 1974 Trade Act signed by Gerald Ford, the United States has one chief trade negotiator, and that person is the U.S. Trade Representative (the USTR) – a job that remains empty. There is also a statutory body for coordinating U.S. trade policy, and it is chaired by the USTR, which has not met. This is not all. There are formal advisory committees to be consulted representing all segments of the economy – including industry, agriculture and labor.
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