Trade Update (March 4)
|US-China Ways & Means Hearing
This week all eyes were on Capitol Hill as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. The hearing was well timed, as President Trump announced on Saturday (Feb 23) that he would not increase the Section 301 tariffs on March 2, as planned. Negotiations are still ongoing, but President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet at Mar-A-Lago in late March to finalize the negotiations and end the trade war.
The hearing took place on Wednesday and primarily focused on the ongoing US-China trade negotiations, however members also asked Ambassador Lighthizer about the forthcoming trade negotiations with Japan, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Section 232 tariffs, and the World Trade Organization. The current trade negotiations between the US and China are a result of President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs under Section 301 on Chinese “Made in 2025” products. There is strong bipartisan support for a deal that is enforceable and requires China to make structural change to its unfair trade practices. Members asked Lighthizer about the ongoing negotiations, specific provisions, and the likelihood of success. Lighthizer sees this negotiation as one agreement, with more to follow as US-China relations improve.
A summary of the hearing can be found here.