Trade Update (June 18)
USMCA Working Groups
On Thursday (June 13), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed a task force that will be charged with negotiating with the Trump administration to overhaul several key elements of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) will lead the House Democrats’ Trade Working Group, which will consist of four subgroups: drug pricing, labor, environment, and enforcement. Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois will lead the drug pricing team; California Reps. Jimmy Gomez and Mike Thompson will head the labor group; Reps. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon and John Larson of Connecticut will tackle environmental issues; and Reps. Terri Sewell of Alabama and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut will work on enforcement. Pelosi has not committed to a floor vote and the working group is expected to work with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, according to Politico. White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said he met with President Trump and Lighthizer, indicating the administration is deferring to Pelosi on bringing the deal to the House floor.
Industry Giants Warn Against Tariffs
On Thursday (June 13), more than 600 companies and industry trade associations penned a letter to the Trump administration expressing concern about “tit-for-tat” tariffs that the US has waged with China and other foreign entities. “We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy,” the letter stated. The letter also went on to state that “According to Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC, 25 percent tariffs on an additional $300 billion in imports (combined with the impact of already implemented tariffs and retaliation) would result in the loss of more than 2 million U.S. jobs, add more than $2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of U.S. GDP by 1 percent.” Walmart, Costco, and Target are just a few of the companies calling for the administration to reconsider further tariffs on Chinese imports. To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
 Sherman, Jake. “Pelosi names members of key trade working group.” Politico. 13 June 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/13/pelosi-names-members-of-key-trade-working-group-1364562