U.S. Trade Representative Nominee Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN March 14, 2017 8:00pm-10:27pm EDT
>> the committee will come to order. welcome, everyone to this afternoon's hearing. today we will consider the nomination of mr. robert lighthizer to be the united states trade representative. the last time this committee considered a nominee for ustr was in july of 2015. unfortunately, under the last administration, failure to promptly nominate appointees to leadership positions became the norm. as a result, it is a sad truth that the office of ustr has not had a fully confirmed bench of nominees since ambassador kirk
resigned in january of 2013. that is pathetic. the difficulty in advancing the pro-growth trade agenda was due to the committee. the committee must consider and report six positions at the office of the u.s. trade representati representative. unfortunately, with most of president trump's nominees we are off to a slow start. i hope with today's hearing we can begin the process of moving these trade nominees more quickly. mr. lighthizer is qualified to serve as tustr. if we keep it to the position mr. lighthizer has been nominated to fill there is no reason he should be proved by this committee and confirmed by the senate.
issues unrelated to mr. lighthizer might be attached to considerations of the nominee. let me address this briefly before turning the discussion to the nominee's qualifications and the sizable agenda facing the next ustr. mr. lighthizer has spent almost his entire career in public service including staff director for this committee and as deputy ustr in private practice fighting against unfair imports. in 1995, congress passed an amendment that prohibits an individual from serving as u.s. trade representative or deputy u.s. trade representative if that person has quote directly represented, aided or advised a foreign enemy. any trade negotiation or trade dispute with the united states unquote. while in private practice, mr. lighthizer represented a small
number of foreign clients in the late 1980s and early 1990s well before the passage of the 1995 amendment. because of this work, some of our democratic colleagues requires mr. lighthizer requires a waiver to serve as ustr. mr. lighthizer doesn't believe his work falls within this statute nor do i. the office of legal council at the department of justice indicated they share that opinion. it is not clear a waiver under the 1995 statute is necessary in mr. lighthizer's case. this isn't the first time the committee has had to deal with this time of question and in the past we have been able to work through it. in 1997, president clinton nomnited jez to serve as the ustr. the republican majority worked
constructively to support president clinton's nominee. he agreed to work to consider a waiver so she might assume the position as u.s. trade representative without controversy. as far as the record shows, there were no extraneous conditions attached to the waiver and if passed on the floor by a vote of 98-2. similarly in 2007, president bush nominated dianne oak for ustr. neither she nor the general council believed that the statue covered her prior work, chairman balks and grassley worked to advance a waiver through the committee in order to ensure all necessary basis were being covered. no extraneous conditions were
demanded and it was approved by the committee by a voice vote. today we are faced with similar circumstances. it is not clear the statute applies to the work in the 1980s and 1990s. in fact, we have what appears to be a well researched opinion from llc and it does not. nevertheless, democratic member committee members are saying that mr. lighthizer needs a waiver in order to be confirmed and at the same time the same members are refusing to approve a waiver unless the committee move a piece of legislation for the office of ustr that is unrelated. this kind of legislative hostage taking is not unheard of in the senate but in the context of consideration for a nominee for the office of u.s. trade representative it is totally unprecedented. i have stated publically i am willing to work with ranking
member wyden and others on the committee who believe is waiver is necessary but i will be honest at this point, it appears my colleagues insistence on the waiver has more to do with their demands for an unrelated ransom than concern about the statute. the u.s. trade official is to lead and develop and coordinator and implement u.s. international trade policy serving as the principle trade advisor to the president, leading international trade negotiations and serving as the president's primary spokesperson on international trade. moreover, creating the position makes it clear the trade representative is accountable not only to the president but also to congress. there is a lot of debate about the direction of u.s. trade policy. in fact, the president is
currently considering some of the most significant trade policy decisions in decades including whether and how to upgrade the north american free trade agreement, whether to launch additional trade agreements with parties of the transpacific partnership and whether to continue to negotiate for a trade in services agreement and environmental bridge agreement and an agreement with the european union. in doing so, and he is doing so without the advice of his chosen ustr. not because the nominee is unqualified but because some democratic senators say the nomination is an opportunity to advance unrelated legislative priority. moreover, at a time congress is demanding more input and stronger enforcement, our administration is being blocked from the office even.
this is unprecedented. it is time to move this nomination. actually it is well past time. it has been more than 50 days since mr. lighthizer was nominated by the president. this is the longest gap between nomination and consideration of a ustr since at least 2001. before concluding, let me briefly touch on trade priorities i expect the next ustr to address. it will not be surprising to many of you that i expect nominee, and this administration, to be strong advocates for u.s. intellectual property rights. intellectual property is the backbone of our economy affecting large and small companies across america. this is a key part of our economic growth.
in my home state of utah, half a million jobs and 67% of our imports are connected to intellectual property. second, i expect quick and effective trade promotional authority. president trump benefits by coming into office with tpa already in place. as a country, we have a unique opportunity to lock in strong trade agreements that meet the high standards of tpa but trade negotiations are long-term endeavors and to be successful we need to begin soon. as the administration updates and negotiates new deals i hope they will be able to use president's obama template. in my view, he was in favor of a liberal social agenda. some of the areas i believe need higher priority include the need
to reflect a standard of protection for u.s. intellectual property rights similar to u.s. law, seek the elimination of price controls, work for better market access for farmers and ranchers and stronger positions on sanitation measures, include enforceable provisions and ensure greater transparency in government reimbursement regimes, negotiate strong and enforceable provisions on anti corruption, provide better protection for secrets, and strengthen government, transparency and the effective operation of legal regimes and the rule of law. finally, we must do a better job of holding our trading partners accountable. more effective monitoring of trading partners existing commitments, along with full
implementation is creating a robust trade agenda here and at home. mr. lighthizer, i want to commend you on a stellar career in international trade. it is my hope that you will use your expertise to advance a strong u.s. trade agenda that can help grow our economy and instill faith in the american people in the ability of international trade and trade agreements to provide new opportunities for working americans. i look forward to hearing your testimony today. so with that, i will turn to my friend, the ranking member, senator wyden, for his opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. chairman and colleagues, after several weeks during which the only insight the public has gotten into trump trade policy has come in head scratching, 140 character bursts. today's hearing gives us a
chance to get some specifics. i had a good conversation with bob lighthizer in office and i want to welcome him today as his nomination is considered. i hope at the end of this hearing americans will have heard more details about how the trump administration plans to meet the expenses promises that were made in the 2016 campaign. before digging into the policy issues, there is another issue the committee has to address. the legal matter of mr. lighthizer work for foreign governments makes him ineligable to be nominateed pursuant to the lobbying disclosure act. the facts are clear but as was the case with secretary mattis this grup has made exceptions. speaking for democrats, we are willing to work with republicans to provide a statutory exception
for mr. lighthizer but also insist republicans work with democrats to provide a lifeline to america's hardworking minors who are now facing the possible loss of health care and retirement benefits. mr. lighthizer has an understanding about the impact unfair trade on america's manufacturers and workers that in my view could be a valuable asset to the country. the country needs a ustr who is going to stand up for our rights on behalf of our workers and our businesses. the world trade organization who is going to partner with the customs and border protection agency, the department of commerce and the full range of agencies who are responsible for trade enforcement, to crack down on the rip off artists that cheat and hurt our workers and businesses here at home. after a campaign of shouting
that the north american free trade agreement could be the worst deal every, the president came into office and said our trade relationship with canada, a mass member, only needed in his words tweaking. the president spent the campaign talking tough about china but his administration has been largely quite about their plans of china's flagerantly unfair trade policies. when i say our trade policy needs to deliver results and not just talk that is why we need to get into specifics today. my own view is that the agenda has got to start, particularly in the season of march madness, with a vigorous full court press for tough trade enforcement. in my view, there are two prongs
to effective trade enforcement. the first is to fully enforce the trade laws at home. foreign subsidies have to be identified quickly and remedied and that requires strong enforcement at the border by customs officials. goods made with forced labor have to be barred from entering our country, trade and stolen timber and other natural resources that damage the environment and edge out hard working americans from the foresty sector has to be stopped. i want to particularly thank a >> host: of my colleagues who are here -- host -- today who pushed hard to toughen our trade remedy laws because we are in a position to trade remedy sanctions that are more reponsive to american producers who have been besieged by trade
cheats. holding others to commitments under deals already on the book meaning enforcing labor obligations, protecting the environment or stopping countries from applying discr i discriminitory rules. when it comes to aggressive trade enforcement government, the united states can't deploy a court with half a team. that is why a number of democrats thought the hiring freeze is short sided leaving resources on the sideline and suggests the tough talk on trade is not going to be much more than talk. i hope that the forthcoming budget does not put more trade enforcers on the sidelines because doing that would endanger good paying american
jobs just to fund more than $50 billion gave way to defense contractors. in order to maximize opportunities for exporters, it can't end with existing rules and has to reach overseas to dismantle foreign trade barriers that prevent americans goods and services from competing on a level playing field. here is the stake. 140 million people are joining the middle class every year. many of them in asia. and the fact of the matter is the trade jobs in that part of the world provides us an opportunity to pay better wages, they reflect a higher level of productivity and value added. what we say, and i have heard many of my colleagues say it, what we are doing is growing things here, making things here,
adding value to them here and then we ship them somewhere. these opportunities are missed if we stay on the sidelines while other nations negotiate trade deals that advantage their exporters over ours. this is especially true in the asia-pacific region. that is what happened as we sit here this afternoon. as we sit here today pacific rim countries meet in chile to discuss trade in the region and the question is where is u.s. leadership? with that said, whether it is through renegotiating nafta or looking to asia, transparency with the public and congress is essential. the previous congress passed a law that required political action to ensure the public and representatives in congress are asking partners in effort to negotiate and implement trade agreements. with the american people in the
dark with respect to the specific actions the president intends to take on trade, the first months of this administration leave mr. lighthizer, if confirmed, with a steep hill to climb on transparency. it is critical the american people know whether the president is advocating for trade policies to create red, white and blue jobs or very frankly to help his own business interest. that is why i introduced with a number of colleagues from both chambers of commerce, the presidential trade transparency act. the bottom line is that the administration has talked mightily when it comes to trade so we have now reached the time for action. that means more transparency, a full court press on trade enforcement, and playing offense every single day in the tough global markets that we are facing.
mr. lighthizer, i look forward to your testimony and enjoy our meeting and thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. today i am being relieved of the duty to introduce our nominee although i think very highly of him. instead we have two current finance committee members, both from the state of ohio, who will introduce mr. lighthizer. before that we will hear from a distinguished friend and former chairman of this committee. i want to welcome my good friend, all of our good friend, former senate finance member and leader, senator bob dole. good to see you today. [applause] >> maybe i will take the job. [laughter] >> well, 35 years ago i was chairman of this committee.
when we passed the 1981 reagan tax bill and bob lighthizer hawse by my side and i would say to my fell colleagues if you need someone who is aggressive and bulldog he is seated on my right. his name is robert lighthizer from the great state of ohio. also the state of my great grandfather who was raised on a farm in montpelier, ohio. i want to thank the committee for his hearing. i have had the honor a number of times of introducing people to various committees and it has been bipartisan. i remember introducing vice
president, senator mondale to the ambassador of japan. we both served on the finance committee and we had different views but we were friends. it makes a big difference. i am particularly honored today to introduce -- he doesn't need any introduction, but to introduce someone i have worked with, someone i know, i have watched his children grow up and i know him to be a man of complete honesty and integrity and since i said a bulldog when it comes to getting things done. he made me look good. hard to do, but he did it. because of his work as director
of this committee staff in the late 1880s and the early '90s, and we had great success on many difficult issues and most of them, i would say 90%, were resolved in a bipartisan way. bob lighthizer did not work for me. no one worked for me. they worked with me. i am certain that is the way you consider the outstanding members of your staff. but this is a singular honor for me. i am older than the total age of all of the committee.
[laughter] >> i have been around a while and listened to arguments and debates and we have political parties and certainly have different vuz. neither party has all the wisdom but i think in this case if you are looking for someone who really understands what he is about to enter into with your approval it is this fellow robert lighthizer. thanks for the committee for permitting me to be here and to say a good word about my friend and my staff director. i hope that -- i don't understand some of the problems raised but i am hoping they can all be resolved because trade is important.
i come from a farm state, kansas, as pat roberts know, and seated next to grassley. i know all of you, i think most all of you. there are farmers in every state. bob bob has listened to the speech for 40 years. it is not only agriculture but steal which is important to the ohio delegation. both on the committee here and other states he was very
successful and when a trade representative was then senator bill brock from tennessee, bob lighthizer attened cabinet meetings and i felt the trade representative was a little under ranked because none of us can say we don't need trade in our state. what we need is someone as ron wyden pointed out, and the chairman pointed out, who will hustle and work out the differences and that is my friend, bob lighthizer. thank you. >> thank you, senator. [applause]
>> you could not have a better person come and refer and support you. we all love and respect him. turn to senator brown now at this point and then to senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am not sure why rob and i are doing this after the distinguished senator dole did such a good job introducing you. it was a pleasure to here about montpelier, ohio. rob and i were both hoping we would get to mention your great grandfather was born in montpelier. i want to take a moment before introducing mr. lighthizer in my state and the retirement they earned over a lifetime of work.
many of the minors were scheduled to be in the room until the snowstorm hit. two and a half months into this here and the committee hasn't even held a hearing on this issue. these minors can't food to wait. we must act sooner rather than later. today we are hear to consider robert lighthizer nomination to the trade help. he has a long history of service. some bob dylan in a song rhymed honolulu and ash tell.
he can do that. he knows too many communities left too many works behind all over the country. i look forward to working with him to chart a new trade agenda that puts american workers first. he has defended people against unfair trade policies and i consider it an honor to work him. he understand the trade policy we need to help our steel companies and other companies. we know china has the capacity to make about half the world's steel and i am confidant mr.
lighthizer will. he designs a promise to keep president trump's promise to manufacturers and workers. thank you. >> thank you senator brown. last but not least we will call on senator portman. senator portman, if you will proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i too join my colleague senator brown in being pleased it be introducing you along with the honorable senator leader, chairman, bob dole. i thought it was particularly fitting everybody in the room applauded senator dole when you said you thought ustr were underrated. i am sorry you didn't say all of them.
as a former ustr, i am delighted bob lighthizer is stepping up to take the job. i know we will have to work out something but we need him. i think the ranking member made good points about the urgency of his task. i am glad you are willing to do it. you are a guy who hails from the buckeye state and it is one of the parts in ohio that has been hit hard by unfair trade. you stood up both in your roles in government and the private sector. there are a lot of reasons you would be good. one is you bring experience that is needed right now. you have the hill experience. you have the appearance at ustr and the experience of working with the private sector on these tough trade issues. you are a georgetown law graduate and you launched yourself into quite a
respectable private sector career. i know you were young when bob dole called saying i am looking for a young, bright conservative. you were under bill brock who was underrated and one of the greatest ustr. in that role, you got the whole view because the deputies at ustr had a broad panel of responsibilities. now it is divided more into geographic areas. there is a separate deputy for agricultural and so on. you have been an advocate for balanced trade and the importance of trade efforts is talked about and that expansion is critical to middle class jobs in my home state of ohio. they are better paying. 18% average paying more and good benefits. you also understood the importance of balance in other words rigorously enforcing trade laws and enforcement. i think that is the right balance now. your work on the seal workers
gives you the sensitivity to know we have the best workers and compete but it has to be on the level playing field and that experience is critically important. it is difficult issue; trade. lots of politics around it. around this committee, looking who is here today. there is a different point of view represented by every seat. there is a lot of misinformation about trade in my view and again someone who has experience and credibility enforcing trade laws and stepping up for people like the steel workers you stepped up forgives us credibility to promote the right kind of trade policy. i noticed members of the new administration have strong views on trade. sometimes they are not always the same. i think they will benefit from having someone with your experience and perspective to be able to help coordinate that effort and bow a better bridge to capitol hill because that is a critical part of this job.
ustr was created by this committee and the ways and means committee and by the congress. it has a unique responsibility to these committees including being able to pass trade agreements. i know you have negotiated a few yourself and negotiated can capitol hill. bob is tenacious, seasoned, knowledgeable and i look forward to working with him as our next u.s. trade representative. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. before giving your opening statement would you like to introduce any family members? >> i have my daughter and brother here today. >> great. we welcome them. >> when i was before this committee to be deputy ustr, my daughter was about 18 months old
and spent part of the hearing in my lap. she walked up and crawled in my lap. >> mr. chairman, i am going to excuse myself. but put your money on the jayhawks. >> it has been a privilege to have you here. god bless you, senator dole. >> it has been a blessing to have senator dole up here. we all respect him. mr. lighthizer, you can proceed. >> mr. chairman, ranking member wyden, members of the committee, it is a great honor for me to appear before you today as president trump's nominee to be the united states trade representative. i am particularly pleased to be in this hearing room where i
have so many fond memories and to be here with my former boss. it is fair to say that i had my formation working for senator dole and this committee in the 1970s and 1980s. i was able to work for truly exlimpary senators. i assisted on tax policy, social security reform, budget cuts, welfare bills and much more. i would be remiss if in addition to senator dole, grassley, i didn't mention senator long and man00 han. after leaving here, i worked for president reagan and senator bill brock another amazing boss. i have often thought how lucky i am to have such great bosses and mentors.
i worked an services and industrial issues and negotiated several trade agreements. yes, mostly they were bilateral. those were also exciting times. for the last many years, i have practiced international trade law. the vast majority of my work has been representing u.s. manufacturing companies opposing unfair trade in this market and opposing the non-economic expansion of production capacity around the world. as many of you know, i have written and spoke about the challenges facing u.s. companies and workers and espoued strong enforce. ment. i agree with president trump in that we should have an american first trade agreements.
i further believe we need an international trade system that functions the way it was nugoings -- negotiated and that the united states must be ready to work with like-minded trade partners. if confirmed, i hope to work with this committee, the ways and means committee, others in congress, president trump and those in the administration and all stakeholders to develop and implement a policy that increases trade, grows the economy and makes trade freer and fairer. but most importantly that improves the economic wellbeing of our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses large, median and small. if confirmed, i hope to be judged in whether i aided all of you in accomplishing this goal. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. lighthizer.
we appreciate your willingness to take on this really difficult assignment. i have some obligatory questions. first, anything you are aware of in your background that might present a conflict of duties? >> there is not, mr. chairman. >> do you know of any reason, personal or otherwise, that would in any way prevent you from fullly and honorable discharging the responsibilities of the office for which you have been nominated? >> i do not mr. chairman. >> do you agree to respond to any reasonable summon to appear to any grup in front of the congress if confirmed? >> i do. and finally, do you commit to provide a prompt response in writing to any questions addressed to you by any senator of this committee? >> i do, sir. >> thank you, sir. i appreciate it.
let me begin with questioning. in the 28 years ustr has published the section 301 report, india has received the worst or second worst designation every year. similarly, the international chamber it address ranked india worst or second worst every year it has been published. what can you do differently to secure real intellectual property rights, protection in the country of india? >> mr. chairman, let me say first of all if i am confirmed i promise a very robust protection for intellectual property rights. i realize this is very important to the chairman and the members of this committee.
i think anything less stifles innovation and science and really compromises what is a competitive advantage of the united states. that is to say innovation and science. i think we need a policy that is as aggressive as we can have. there are a whole lot of areas where we are at risk in intellectual property protection including with india. theft and intellectual property, short patent protection, insufficient property protection. i expect to work with the committee anyway i can with
respect to india specifically. i like the thoughts of the committee and the staff. i realize the importance of the issue and you know i am fully committed to protecting intellectual property rights. >> well, thank you. i remain disappointed that under the last administration not a single intellectual property case was brought under the wto or bilateral trade agreements despite well documented document do is live up to their commitment. if you are confirmed will you take steps to identify and address these trade violations? >> i absolutely will. i expect we will have a very rigorous enforcement policy. i expect to bring as many
actions as are justified, both the wto and bilateral agreements. this will be a point of emphasis. i think the president asked me to do this job in part because of my enforcement background and i expect to do it across the board. >> well, thank you. it is well documented that canada refuses to enforce intellectual property rights for the in-transit cargo going to the united states. the most recent trade estimate documented this issue as well. do we have your commitment to address this issue in our discussions with canada and will you ensure that other u.s. departments and agencies are made aware of the importance of the issue in their engagements with canada including the ongoing discussion between canada and the department of homeland security regarding cargo-free inspection.
>> absolutely, mr. champion. i am totally committed. -- chairman. i really do believe innovation is the central nervous system of the modern economy. i am fully committed to bring every action we can -- that is justified across the board. i will certainly make sure other departments in this government realize how committed we are to this area. >> thank you. senator wyden? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me start, if i could, with lumber and forestry. this has been the longest running battle since the trojan war going on decades and decades. the canadians use special procedures to force our trade
agencies to weaken trade remedy orders on soft wood lumber. i would like to hear specifically and 25 senators, equally divided by democrats and republicans, have joined in efforts to get the executive branch to be serious about this and i will tell you it is unfortunate the president-elect missed an opportunity when prime minister turdeu was here. how will you get tough with canada in regard to soft timber and make sure our workers in these areas get a fair shake and fair wage? >> senator, first of all i would say i have had a variety of issues with respect to canada that have been raised by senators. i have done around and been spoken and certainly this is at the top of the list but there
have been a variety of things. i can there a number of issues we have to address. >> did you say this would be at the top of your list as it related to canada? >> that is what i did say. >> i like that answer. go ahead, please. >> right now, as you say there is a long history of this and history of litigation and then memorandum of understanding and trying to work it out temporarily. it is a very serious problem. it has enormous political consequences on both sides of the border. right now, we are in the process of litigation which we said the department of commerce, not a ustr, but i expect to be involved. i know the quantative restrain
is what the government wants in both parts of canada. i will work with there senator and staff on that. i know the variety and importance and history. obviously if this litigation goes forward and we have another negotiation on this subjecsubje know it is very important in my mind. the last agreement didn't work the way it was supposed to. we have to have a new one, litigation or agreement that does work. >> i am going to be in rural oregon this weekend having town hall meetings and to be able to tell them that is person being considered for nominee is our trade representative has this at the top of the list makes a difference. i appreciate it. let me turn to the question of digital trade. the intersector alone counts for
five million american jobs. here is the challenge and i think we touched on this in the office. we have to tackle these foreign efforts to require american companies to store data where governments want the data stored not where it makes sense for the private economy. not where it makes sense for economic or technological reasons. i would like to hear your thoughts about how you are going to help this sector that accounts for five million american jobs get a fair shake in the digital arena overseas. as you know, this is cloud-based services but it is a variety of other services. what are you greg to do make sure that digital trade, american digital trade, gets a fair shake in global markets? >> senator, first of all, i would like to commend you for
your long-term commitment in this area. i talked about innovation bogue the central nervous system and one wise senator once referred to the internet as had shipping lane for 21st century goods and services. does that sound remotely familiar? >> i know that guy. >> i say that to emphasize how important i think this area is. i think there is headway that has been made. and you and your colleagues in terms of putting pressure on it. it is essential moving forward we have free flow of data and you can store the data where it makes sense economically. i will fully committed and expect to do this where it is important.
it is the sort of thing we have to include in your trade agreement and when we talk about nafta and others this didn't exist with the agreements were first negotiatenegotiated. i commit it will be something we prioritize. >> thank you. >> senator stabenow? >> welcome. i enjoyed our conversation in the office. good to see you again. looking forward to seeing your waiver work out on a bipartisan basis. appreciate the work you have done in the issues. we have important issues on trade to address that affect our workers. we talked about michigan and making things and growing things and agricultural and manufacturing and all of our businesses. as we talk about trade i have a
saying we should export our products not our jobs and i think that is something you would agree with. i appreciate that. i have to say, i think you have a very tough job. i want to talk to you about that because as usti you are responsible for monitoring, enforcing trade agreements, existing trade agreements. we in michigan want a level playing field on intellectual proper rights which you have spoken in the past extensively about. here is where i am deeply concerned right now. you are out fighting for american workers and businesses if you are confirmed. but your future loss president trump and his family have business interest all over the world. and my constituents and i are
very worried about what happens when the interest of the american workers and businesses in terms of enforcing our trade laws are put at odds with the business interest of our president or his family. i wondered if you might speak about how you might stand up for american workers and businesses in that kind of a situation. >> well, thank you, senator. first of all, in all my conversations with the president, i have been honored to have several ee speak very strongly on enforcement and getting the best possible deals for american workers and american farmers and ranchers. his own business interests are never remotely referred to. i really don't personally know what they are. the president is completely committed to the america first agenda which i subscribe to and
i believe the senator subscribes to. i am honored to have this president nominate me for this job. and i think that working together, all of us, and president trump, we have a reasonable likelihood we can change the para dime and have it be better for all workers and farmers. i have never seen anything hint the other way. i think his motivations are spectacular. >> i appreciate that very much. here is me concern. it is a real, sincere concern. the president said on day one, he would label china the currency manipulator. you made strong comments in the past about currency manipula manipulations and this is an issue we have been working on for years with china and japan
and other countries. we have seen the president say that the grand champion of currency manipulation is china. then we see on february 24th, secretary munuchin signals the white house isn't sure what they will do on currency manipulation. last week, china after 12 years of court back and forth with donald trump and his family, has given provisional approval in an uncharacteristically swift manner to 38 new trademarks for the donald j trump brand to be put on construction businesses, all kinds of businesses, all kinds of products in china. we hear now that it isn't clear what our administration is going to do about china.
so, maybe it has nothing to do with each other but it is very concerning to me we would have in my judgment, a need to be very tough on china and what they have done. we have lost close to five million jobs as a result of currency manipulation and related practices in our country. a good number of those in my state of michigan. now we have a situation where the president is benefiting by business deals and new trademarks to put his name on businesses and products in china. how do you move forward on that? how do you make those calculations as to what to do as you have said, and i appreciate very much and agree with the statements you have made in the past about china being a currency manipulator. what do we do with that in
>> well, senator, first of all in the past it is my judgment that china was a substantial currency manipulator and i think we lost a lot of jobs in the united states. and it isn't just china there are other countries. >> i agree. >> whether china is manipulating the currency right now to weaken it is another question. that is up to the treasury secretary. >> i understand that. i guess my question is as you move forward in a very tough job, and i believe you are equipped to do that, how do you handle the situation at this point in time where we have business interests in countries, the president and his family with business interest in countries where we need to be tough on that country in order to protect american jobs? >> senator, i don't know anything about the president's businesses or trademarks or
anything like that. >> would it help if you did? in all sincerity there are proposals, senator wyden has one, that would require making it known. if you knew that would it make it easier for you to do your job and make sure there is no conflict? >> absolutely not. to be honest, with the time i spent with the president, any suggest he would do anything not in the national interest is not correct. i would like, if i could, to have you and the ranking member -- whatever things you have to worry about and my job is tough but your job is tougher. your responsibility is greater. ....
china would be a currency manipulator. it is after day number one and that hasn't happened yet, but other things affecting his business had and that is deeply concerning to me. >> let me just say i believe that if your concern is that the president was somehow to defend because of trademarks, i won't let you rest assured if it is not the case and i would also say that i will bet you and i will sit down in your office between now and the time i leave and you will say you were right,
he is going to change the paradigm on china and if you look at our problems, china is right up there. let me assure the senate this isn't going to be a problem. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming into my office and having a nice visit and for the work you've done on this committee. thank you for your good work on behalf of a national legend. last month members of the committee met and they are new members of the white house trade council. they read to us the
administration's marching. i believe the other considerations that should be number one. another trade priority for the record i think you have the experience most trade agreements i worked on since i've had the privilege of public service has been over criticized somewhere while we try to work it out with since 24 there are several i could mention the labeling is a tough issue in the committee
that we have been down the road before. we have the issue in 2015 and we don't need to go down that road again. we have escaped about $4 billion, somewhere between 4 billion against terrorists in the united states. i do not think we need to constantly changing list. that may be a good time to talk about it. you have the experience and talent and commitment. the u.s. has withdrawn and expressed major concerns with nafta. the administration stated it plans to negotiate bilateral
trade agreements that you referred to and it seems to me we need to move quickly. i want to make it clear that agriculture must be a key part of the conversations. you assured me you would defend agriculture as the problems arise and i would like to remind you taking it a step further so we don't get into these problems. last month as the chairman of the committee, we, senator stabenow and myself, chaired a hearing with 21 witnesses and everyone brought up the issue of trade and exported over $103 billion in agricultural goods and in 2016 exports accounted for approximately 20% of the production and have a global trade surplus of 20 billion. understanding the importance on the agricultural industry and the rough patch we are in will
you be a champion and get this moving on the global market? >> yes, senator, i will. i have a long history with agriculture. i worked on it and negotiated the administration agreement with the soviet union in 1993. you will recall president carter cut off the seals to the soviet union and president ronald reagan decided to implement the sales and i was called to negotiate the agreement and i did do it. my contact with senator dole and i had a variety of memorable meetings. it was a joy to go around and talk about the issues that mattered to them, but i had one memorable comment one senator made which was as you go through
your job remember that you don't need to steal and that is something that struck me so i'm sure we will prioritize steel and agriculture both in terms of maintaining what we have and getting additional market access. >> i can't imagine who that might be. we have grain on the ground in kansas and if we don't sell agricultural commodities over the next several months we are at a 16 low and prices we've will have a problem on our hands. if confirmed, can you tell us right now which countries you will be having conversations with not just what we make that what we grow?
>> there are a variety of priority is in terms of what the negotiations are but it's clear that agriculture would have been a beneficiary and i think as we move forward to negotiate a new agreements, we have to go to those countries among others and i would list of course japan as being a primary target for a place where increased access for agriculture is important. it is hard for me to understand why we tolerate so many barriers to the agricultural trade when america is the number one producer of agriculture. we are the best in the world and if you believe in trade and market efficiency, you just have to believe agriculture should be even more of a positive and its market distortions that keeping that from happening so i think opening up more markets for agricultural sales is a very
high priority for us. >> i appreciate that. my time is expired. >> senator menendez, senator cardin was here and it has allowed senator to me that has to leave to question. would you be willing to do that? thank you for your kindness. appreciate it. >> thank you and i want to thank the senators for maryland and new jersey for their kindness. mr. lighthizer, thank you. i enjoyed our chat early. there is no question you have a tremendous background and knowledge. i would like to focus on a couple of narrow issues and then on the big macro issue that i think is important and i am concerned about. the former is the two primary reasons i wasn't able to support. one was the lack of protection for property for biologics and
an incredibly new field in the area where we need to get this right and intellectual property is a form of property that shouldn't be stolen like any other property so i hope we will do a better job in the future on that and i would like you to add to your list of priorities as i'm sure you know that canadians are very resistant to allowing american dairy products. that's why it is a big dairy producing state and we could do well selling dairy products to canada so i would ask you to consider that on the list. the other thing is some worrisome signals that might receive from the administration. i think the director of the national trade council has been pretty clear that one off if not the primary goal of the trade policy is going to be to reduce trade deficit. if you become the u.s. trade rep
you will be responsible for negotiating the deals that accomplish whatever these goals are. i am concerned this is the wrong top priority. i'm concerned because i don't think the trade deficits are inherentldeficit areinherently . i think a few choose to address reducing deficits by expanding american exports, that's great and i'm sure that will be one of the goals. we certainly want to tear down the barriers to american products. the problem is we've also gotten very clear indication that there will be an effort to reduce imports which is another way to reduce the size of the trade deficit and i think that is a big mistake for several reasons. it would invite retaliation and almost certainly result in retaliation that would diminish american exports and that would be very bad for us. the second is whatever mechanism
one uses to reduce imports whether it is terrorists or bureaucratic hurdles that we can't get over, that result is your choice for american consumers, fewer choices, fewer options, and finally i would stress that the fact is historically, trade deficits do not harm manufacturing broadly speaking and they don't cause unemployment. i have a chart that illustrates this point i think pretty well. the re red line is that u.s. manufacturing output adjusted for inflation and as you can see on the right, the red wine is back uline isback up to its allf which is to say the united states of america is manufacturing more today than we ever have in the history of the republic. we've done it with fewer people which is a function of automation. but manufacturing is at an all-time record high.
what's even more stunning though is that there is no correlation between a reduction in manufacturing and an increase in the trade deficit. in fact it is the opposite. the blue line on this graph as it does in us from the upper left, the dissent of that line reflects increasing deficits and as you can see it happens at the same time that manufacturing output is going up. when the blue line reverses and the deficit gets smaller as the blue line goes up, the red line of manufacturing output goes down so there is a pretty consistent inverse relationship actually between the size of the trade deficit and any factoring output. i think it is because when the economy is strong we are manufacturing more and when it's strong we are also buying more products. the second chart i want to show is a similar point with respect to unemployment. it is the same blue line that is the trade deficit.
it is getting larger as the line goes down to the right and as you can see from the period from 1992 until roughly the procession. when the trade deficit diminishes as it did in 2009 unemployment went through the roof and then again it has declined. in recent years while it was roughly a lot lower. so we learned there's a way to reduce the trade deficit. i know that's not what you want and i know you do want to increase the opportunities to export i would just urge you to consider making the high year of the priority is not the reduction in the deficit but rather the mutual elimination of trade barriers and expansion of trade and certainly of course
opening up markets for the products. their products. >> your time is up. senator menendez. >> the best i have to say congratulations on your nomination. let me ask you, i am one that believes we shouldn't compromise our values in order to get a trade agreement. if anything we should be using those agreements to further our values. as you know, the committee was debating the trade promotion authority legislation two years ago and asked my amendment that borrowed the procedures for any trade agreement with a country on tier three of the state department's trafficking report, a group of countries that failed to take any action to combat the trafficking and forced labor. and that was a high partisan vote on the amendment. now, following the amendment we saw an unprecedented report for the countries that were upgraded on the factors.
one of those being trade in my opinion and the efforts to combat human trafficking. can you commit to us that if confirmed he will not take any action to influence the trafficking in persons report? >> i would say first of all, senator, i obviously condemn human trafficking. i know you've been involved with for this and senator cardin has also been involved in it. i believe we will be the strong policy in this administration although it isn't in my area to do what they can to stop human trafficking. in terms of what priorities i have an negotiating the trade
deals i can guarantee i will work with you and other interested. are you committed to the committee that you will not use your position as the u.s. trade ambassador to try to affect the trafficking in persons report. do you believe the administration will seek to negotiate trade agreements with a country currently on tier three of the report?
if there is an intention to do so it would be in violation of the law and the report is manipulated to allow a trade agreement to take place even in the face of human trafficking going on in that country to the level of tier three. so i would hope that wouldn't be the case. i know that chair may raise with you and i want to echo his concern. i think that it's a great opportunity for us to build greater economic ties, but i have a problem with the lack of attention and intellectual property rights and for the united states that is a critical element whether the field in my home state of new jersey which is the medicine cabinet to the world in terms of a growing biotech and pharmaceutical industry, so in that regard on multiple occasions, i've raised the issue of assuring the biologics and the trade agreement. the trade promotion authority
requires u.s. trade negotiators to ensure the provisions of any trade agreement governing intellectual property rights reflect the standard of protection similar to that found in the united states in the u.s. law. such a level of protection androids strong support from congress as our highly innovative biopharmaceutical industry and high-tech industry supports millions of high-quality jobs including hundreds of thousands in my state of new jersey. will you ensure that any u.s. free trade agreements meet this trade promotion authority requirement raising global standards to those in the united states? >> i am familiar with the issue and that is my position. i will do everything i can to help the new trade agreements that reflect that standard. >> i appreciate that. given that they will provide the protection for the biologics would you commit to pursue the equivalent level of protection
in the future trade agreements? >> i've had conversations with several members and i know there is a split on this and i'm with the chair man on this issue which is to say yes that would be my objective. >> in my view that is in line with the trade promotion authority in the law to bring it up to a standard of 12 years, so thank you for your answers. >> i think it is senator cardin next. >> thank you mr. chairman. i've known mr. lighthizer for a great deal of time and i have confidence in his ability to negotiate and stand up for the enforcement of american trade laws, so i thank you for your willingness to take on this extremely important public service and i know it is a sacrifice and we thank you for being willing to do this. i will comment that we do need
to enforce our dealing with illegal subsidies and although you can't eat steel it does provide good jobs and we have more jobs our entire economy would be stronger including the agricultural sector so thank you for your efforts on behalf of american steel and i hope that you will use that talent to deal with a fair trading system for all of american producers and manufacturers and farmers. i would also point out in that regard one other thing if i might mr. chair man on a personal basis, bob's brother is here and was a distinguished public servant that held the office of county executive in one of the largest counties, so it is a family of public servants and it's wonderful to
see his family members here. >> we certainly welcome the family. >> is senator portman pointed out, the delegation by congress to your office we express ourselves through tpa and announced several negotiating objectives and expect the ustr. let me go over a couple of those. in the most recent trade promotional authority bill, we put as a principal objective compliance with anticorruption commitments. of course we were dealing with countries that were not democratic and we were concerned about the anticorruption. we have now seen a spread among many in the world. you commit to carry out the
authority that will carry out commitments in the trade agreements? we also passed in the trade promotional authority an amendment offered by senator portman and e. as it relates to our european partners that is the provision that requires the trade representatives to get commitments from the trading partners in europe that they will not sponsor any boycotts or sanctions against the state of israel. do you also commit what you will comply with that principle negotiating objectives that was included in the congressional act? >> absolutely, senator. >> furthermore and this has been commented on by many of us, there's currently an effort to try to change the tax code so that we can get a border adjustment which would be fair
to the american manufacturers and we've always included in the trade promotion authority the effort to get the board of adjustment comparable to what the partners have that enter their market on our products entering their market. the difficulty of course is that we have been harmonized in the international community and the use of the consumption tax. i've introduced the progressive tax that is a pattern after what is accepted internationally as a border adjusted tax. it's difficult to see us winning too many cases and the wto with something he called a consumption tax. so i would urge you in your position to get a realistic assessment to those of us in congress as to what is likely to be border adjusted so that long last we can try to set up a
level playing field for american manufacturers and producers and international marketplace as it relates to tax burdens. >> i have spent a lot of time on this issue over the years. i was involved in all these things at various times. i don't know what the right answer is that it is a problem in my judgment, this equilibrium between the taxes. i don't view it as having an economic or legal basis. i think that it's unfortunate and i would look forward to working with you. >> the las last place i would me is we don't do so well in the trade organization on the legal cases. we've done well with the manufacturing credit as you referred to anrefer to and i dow well we could deal with the tax proposal that we are talking about. i do know that in forcing the wall would be helpful in the bilateral agreement with specific references to the
enforcement of the u.s. law rather than relying on the case in the wto so i would encourage you a as you do these trade agreements knowing the reputation for enforcement that we would include enforcement sections increase bilateral agreements. into these bilateral agreements. >> i would agree completely, senator. >> sorry i missed your opening statement. i had to go to the floor to speak about a hearing we are having next week. so, thank you for holding this hearing and i'm glad we are moving forward with mr. lighthizer . nomination. we need to get in place at the ustr. i've enjoyed working with this agency over the years and respect of their unmatched
expertise on trade issues and as everyone in the committee knows, congress sent negotiating objectives for trade agreements when we pass tpa 2015 is a very important piece of legislation through the congress, so i have just a few questions, and i was told that senator roberts touched on part of what i was going to ask. so with your years of experience and trade, i have no doubt that you appreciate the requirements to keep congress informed on that's negotiation and on the need for the agreements to meet the objectives set by congress to enable the agreements negotiated by this administration to receive a single up or down vote. now, following on what senator roberts asked you as you know, i represent a state that has tremendous agricultural
productions that are important to iowa agriculture whether it's corn, soybeans, cattle, the equivalent of one out of every three rows of soybean for for example will end up being exported to china alone. clearly these exports are very important to the price of commodities. president trump and others in his administration indicated the desire to modernize and update nafta. i'm not opposed to that on the surface, but i do have concerns about the potential outcomes. mexico is a number one market for corn and soybeans. mexico and canada represent the number two and three markets for the pork exports to mexico they are 12 times larger today than when nafta was implemented. can you assure the committee that you and president trump . administration fully understand what is at stake for u.s.
agriculture and renegotiating nafta? >> i do, senator, yes. i can't stress enough that there will be real and immediate economic consequences for farmers if we lose exports and probably want to emphasize that when we retaliated against often it is done through the countries taking action against our exports of agriculture. second question, the administration indicated that the preachers bilateral negotiations for the free trade agreements. will president trump's administration be approaching the nafta modernization as bilateral agreements or an update that is a trilateral agreements? >> i think that decision has been made at this point, senator. the administration hasn't made a decision whether to update it as
a trilateral agreement or make it a bilateral agreement. we don't have a decision on that. i noticed in the testimony that you spend time representing u.s. manufacturing and opposing them on economic expansion of the production capacity around the world, and i have heard a great deal from the u.s. steel industry about the extreme overcapacity for steel production. what do you think is the most effective way that the united states can deal with problems like excess production capacity in any country but particularly china? >> senator, this is a very difficult and d. tractable problem that goes beyond steel. it is a model that the chinese used in a lot of different industries and to be a the answer is number one, you have to engage bilaterally and multilaterally. there is a variety where you can engage and try to specifically encourage them to reduce this on
economic capacity. there are several we can talk about where that is appropriate and where progress can be made. then the next thing is you wanting make it less economic. it has to be more difficult for them to maintain the capacity and that means enforcing our trade laws and it means encouraging other countries where they can ship products to enforce fair trade laws and then to try to think of more imaginative solutions. ..
who is next here? senator scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to see you again, ambassador. just to continue on the same vein you heart from senator grassley related to overcapacity will be part of my questions as we think about issues of aluminum, steel, and other issues, but thank you for coming by the office and spending time. we had a good conversation about the value of trade and experting and we have done a good job of becoming the home of over 6,000 companies who depend largely on exporting. we haven't about a 2.3 -- we have a $2.3 trillion of value goes through our port. half a million jobs in south
carolina are expected to the port. so one out of every seven jobs it's important we continue the conversation we had. one challenge that we see at home is if -- conversation about overcapacity and how we deal witness. specifically aluminum and steel markets, it's suggested that's an overcapacity because of folks who aren't playing by the rules. how would you continue the conversation you started with grassley on how we specifically deal with that issue? >> well, thank you, senator. also enjoyed our conversation, and look forward to working with you if i'm confirmed on this and other issue you raid. to me the -- you raised. in steel we have something
called the global forum and you can sit down and talk about reducing capacity in the steel industry. you also have other places where you interact with them. enforcing are our trade laws, get ago people to enforce their trade laws laws laws so they cap none economic capacity. we have to see if there's a way to affect the upstream, or third-party down payment where they're talking on economic examination and putting it in another product and shipping that. a good example would be steel. >> if you look the tools at your disposal and you found wto to be ineffective, there are other tools you need that you would recommend if you were confirmed as our trade rep? >> i have some ideas, but they're probably ideas i'm better off talking to you and talking to the staff.
it is a very, very serious problem for our economy. >> yes. >> and i don't believe that the wto is set up to deal effectively with the country like china and their industrial policy. i just feel it was never really intended to deal with those kind of situations. so, we have to use the tools we have, and then i think we have to sit down with members and find a responsible way to deal with the problem. >> excellent i look forward to having that conversation. know senator wyden talk about soft -- we have one of four part of the trade opportunity. specifically there's been some conversation about our position where there is a free trade
agreement, some suggest we have a surplus, others say we do not. what's your position on that? >> with respect to a surplus with -- >> host: where we have a free trade agreement in place. >> if youable lies the sort of -- if you analyze the trade def set and free trade agreements you have three categories, i would say. you have century -- surpluses with canada, australia, and singapore, and then you have countries that go up and down and it's not large, and then you have mexico and korea. and those are large deficit countries. so i kind of varies. with respect to some, it's on that basis and has been effective. on others it'sline less effective. when i look at deficit is try to ask myself, what does it tell me about the rules rules of trade pertaining to the country? our objective is not just to get
the trade deficit down. our objective is to get rid of trade behave -- barriers. everybody wins win be break down trade behave years -- barriers. so i look at these and what ick learn from this agreement or that agreement. some case this rules don't seem to be working as well as others and i try to learn from that. >> my last question will be, if you leak tpp, countries, i know that the administration has been very clear on staying away from multilateral agreements, perhaps we are in better position to go forward with bilateral agreements. would you envision our country taking a lead in looking for ways to have bilateral agreements with some of the partners that would have been
part of the tpp? >> absolutely, senator. that is my view and i believe it's the view of the administration. clearly we want to have a series of bilateral agreements and hopefully ones that take tpp and improve upon what was negotiated in m case is very well. >> thank you. an important signal to south carolina and the many companies that depend on opportunities to continue trade. thank you. >> thank you. senator brown and carper have allowed senator casey to go next. i should have said carper and brown itch apologize. >> mr. chairman, thank you. hope both senators brown and carper something. i don't know what it is but i'm grateful. i want to make statement about the miners protection -- the miners health care and pension legislation. we know now that we got
coalminers across the country, including many in pennsylvania, that might be suffering from black lung or cancer or diabetes. they began receiving notices on march 1st that their health care would be terminated, and in pennsylvania that's almost 2,000 miners. these miners kept their promise, every promise they've ever made to the country, family, companies, it's time the federal government keeps its promise. what we're saying on this side of the aisle to republicans is just get this miners protection act done and then of course involves in this case. from our point of view, making sure that we can get it done now, and that would also of course move forward, mr. lighthizer's nomination which there is broad support for, coalminers and their families don't need to spend any additional time in this case, months after month, with the
fear and the uncertainty of not having health care or the pensions they earned. so we just hope that the committee, as well as majority leader mcconnell and the president will wind news this evident. i am grateful you put ourself forward for service. we had a good discussion in my office and we're grateful for that discussion. one preliminary question with regard to enforcement. if you're confirmed will you work to enforce boat labor and environmental obligations with trading partners. >> i will, senator. >> i want to spend at the remainder of my time on china. despite promises from china and their wta ascension, china continues to exercise significant control over both state-owned enterprises and factors of production. this is traditionally been
executed through state subsidization of both manufacturing of experts, like steel and aluminum, rather than curbing the activities in response to trade cases. china has expanded their reach through new practices that run counter to market principles. for example, hacking, or cyber-enabled economic espionage. the cyber theft of interelectric to all property can affect u.s. innovators and manufacturers. now china wants market economy status the wto. both administrations have not agreed to that. this administration, we're told, has said it will continue the stance of the prior administration. i'm concern that allies of ours, like those in the eu, may amend their past position on market economy, so two questions. one is will you work with the eu and other allies to defend the
view that china is a nonmarket, nonmarket economy in. >> absolutely, senator. i've spent a lot of time thinking about that and i completely agree with you. >> i appreciate that. and also what other areas to you think you would be able to work with the eu with regard to curbing the impact of china's market distorting practices? >> i think we have to engage across the board with the eu there. there are potential -- a potential ally on a whole variety of areas, particularly in the -- this area so i hope to, if confirmed, spend a good deal of tile with europe and eu and enlist enemy support of the program you're suggesting. >> great. thank you very much. i'm yielding back 50 seconds. >> thank you, senator. senator brown. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
and thank you, to senator carper for your always agreeableness. it's the ohio state dip diploma that got you there thank you for the discussion in my offices in past on trade issues and your usdr interview, or whatever we call these meet, prior to confirmation. you know about the steel overcapacity issue as an expert in the steel industry and steal works. ohio -- we received that the u.s. steel plan in lorraine -- our steel industry, stool cork surveilling beau our trading partners don't play by the rules. china's state-owned properties have flooded the global market coloring country with unfairly made steel. the same is true in aluminum mitchell question is what does the united states do to get
china to implement a net, a net reduction of its steel and aluminum capacity and if china refuses to russ its net steel and aluminum capacity what steps do you take in response. >> senator, first ol' all, thank you for your kind words. do appreciate that. i'm proud to be from ohio. i've been to lorraine to the facility. appreciate that. and i'm glad that your wife and me has urban myer -- my brother, i guess my brother. we have talked a little bit about this issue of chinese overcapacity in steel and aluminum and it's something that is troubling to me, not just because of those products but because it's a model for the chinese industrial policy, and to some extent we have two models of -- two economic
models. one is the one we wanted and one is a different one which is more state control, and state involvement, and in many cases it's noneconomic. what i have said is that we have to have kind of a comprehensive approach on this. we have to, one, address in the various floor we have the chinese overcapacity issue and push back on that and some of those discussions have possibles --ity possibilities for the result. the second thing is enforcing our own trade laws. the third thing i suggested is that we get others to enforce their trade laws, all with an effort to make the maintaining of uneconomic capacity and the creation of uneconomic capacity,
which is massive. hundreds of millions of tons of excess capacity. much more than -- many times the united states' total capacity. and then thirdly, think we have to sit down and have private discussions where we try to think about what other remedies we have. to me the objective is to make it expensive to do something adds inefficiency in the market and has a negative effect on the united states and steel producers in other parts of the world. it's a multifalls setted approach i recommend but part it goes to be sitting down and deciding whether we need new remedies yours and what the rem -- ourselves some what would to be the remedy. >> we want to furring that out two days after the election i called my friend, dan damico who
is sitting here and on the president's trade team for the transition and talk about tpp and ustr and trade enforce. and renegotiating nafta and followed up with a lettered asking the administration to make it a priority to reset u.s.-china trade relations. should that be a priority and this administration with you as u.s. trade rep, and second, what steps do you take to make the u.s.-china trade relationship more balanced overall? >> well, first of all, the ease request question is, yes, it should be a priority. you look at our trade deficit, as an indicator -- not the only indicator but as an indicator of what is going on in the global economy, china is a good part of our problem. a substantial part of our problem. and i think we have to engage and have to talk to china but i
think we also have to think about some new remedies. we have to strongly enforce ore trade laws, self-initiating cases. we have done a good job of that in steel industry. under dan and other's leadership. but i think we have to do it in other products also and then i think we have to think of more systemic approaches. some may be going to the wto or take ago actions to engage. i think this president is very focused on the issue and his views on this subject are -- i don't think -- i believe they're very close to yours in terms of the degree to which this is a problem and how it has to be addressed. so i'm eager to work with this committee and ways and means commitow -- committee to find a responsible way to address this problem, this chronic imbaseball. >> mr. chairman, temperature. >> senator carper. >> thank you. senator.
whenever i pronounce your naval right i want to cal you light-houser or budweiser. >> i'll tell you -- >> i'm stuck between the two. >> you're not the first person that has had that problem. >> host: whatever we should call you, we're glad you're here. your voice isn't as strong as it once was and we're lucky for it to be a strong voice to make sure american experts make their way into marks all over the world. senator brown mentioned that i was a ohio state graduate. and i graduated in '68 in the middle of the vietnam. served three tours withcoming home, and i was invited by the president -- actually went back to vietnam in about a year --
about 1991, went a back to vietnam and led a congressional delegation to find out what happened tower mias and get the truth out to the the vietnamese and the idea if that would provide information, provide closure for thousands of americans family we would move toward normalization, they did and we did. and president obama asked me to go back and was honored to do that. to the president announce wed decided to sell weapons to the vietnamese and so they wouldn't have to rely just on the chinese and russians and the vietnam vietnamese said that would like to buy our aircraft and wanted to buy 10-$15 billion worth of aircraft north weaponry. they'll buy others that are defense-related. we have the opportunity to ale a lot of aircraft -- boeing has a out to sell a lot of aircraft to
another country and that is iran. and i've seep as little as 8 billion to 15 billion defense of protect to replace their airlines. and airbus and a lot of the components for airbus products are made in america. so there's a -- all told there's enough aircraft that can be sold twin boeing and airbus to prime minister thousand -- employ thousands. what is your -- as long as they abide by the p5 plus one agreement that was struck. >> i would say my view is that the way to get rid of trade deficits and move the economy
forward is through expert exports. i think that's what we're hoping for. in terms of pacific sales of airplanes to specific countries, i am not informed enough about what the administration's policy may be. as a general martyr i strongly -- general matter i strongly agree. we have to illinois -- encourage exports. >> my hope is that if you are confirmed -- i suspect you might be -- theft this is one you'll go to school on and i urge you to. a lot of jobs involved, good jobs. the sick second -- they could thing we are talk -- thank you for come to go to my office when you had a stronger voice. one thing we talked about was do we need to negotiate nafta all over again or look the trans-pacific partnership to see
what was done in the context of tpp to renegotiate nafta and my suggestion what the go to school on what ambassador froman and his folks worked on and see if we can do a shortcut on a nafta redo. your thoughts, please. >> i agree completely withup on that. i think ambassador froman did a markable job in a variety of areas and we should take advantage of that work. i'm in agreement with you on that. >> thank you. if you look -- there's talk about building a wall along our border with mexico. a lot of people think that folks are coming into the united states are mexican. they're not. they're going back from the u.s. into mexico than coming the other way. nafta worked pretty weller in mexicans. a more vibe brat middle class -- vibrant middle class than 20
years ago and they're our top customer for american -- in whole world and canada may by month the last or worst. they slapped a tariff on poultry. your thoughts on fixing that kind of imbalance if we have the chance to renegotiate nafta. >> well, i hadn't really rised that had that high a tariff. i agree it's something we should look at. i'm sympathetic to anything that has the potential to lead to more u.s. exports. so, i'm agreeing with the senator. it's something that when we sit down with canada we should rates that and a variety of other subjects raised by the committee. >> thank you. mr. chairman, aim done? is my time expired? do you want me to ask one more.
>> i think you've asked quite a bit. >> well, we'll talk more about vietnam if we can later on. have in my pocket some halls throat loss diengs and i'll leave -- los zenges and if you use them, we-negotiate on cricken ibrought are take up -- take him up on that. the democrats don't give that much. i take that back. we have a lot of ex-senators on this committee. >> one thing you mentioned, you know the numbers -- i don't quite know them -- is that when we sign nafta we perhaps had a trade surplus of 5 million and now it's a negative 60 billion. something along those lines. i mentioned that to someone -- you spoke tv the manufacturing jobs that have moved to mexico.
mentioned that to someone else and they said, well, the reason some of those car companies moved to mexico is that mexico has a trade agreement with both eu and united states that allows goods to move back and forthwithout tariff, that the united states does not, and so for some of these vehicles they're producing no the united states could not export them to europe because there's a tariff upon them. there's not one in mexico. so, as we hopefully move manufacturing back to united states, which i'm a big fan of, and nonetheless that does seem as if it is trade policy in mexico which is advantage relative to ours, that is a driver of that. perhaps not another factor. any thoughts? >> i certainly think that we have to look at issues like that. agree with that. senator. but i suspect that when we do the analysis, the vast majority of cores made by american manufacturers in mexico will end up right here in the united states.
>> so, the duality of the market is less than it might seem because the lions share is coming here. >> that's my guess itch have not studied the issue but that's my case. this lions share of the product made in mexico will end up coming to the united states. i think that's their business plan. say that without having specifically studied that issue. >> there's a lot of anxiety among the can go cultural producers and are afraid if we modernize the and a half to -- put it this way. mexico made some statements they would retaliate if we attempted to push them too far, and my -- they've they're an international market for commodities but i advantage riced advantaged under nafta and benefits them. so, what would you say to my rice farmer who is concerned that there will be retaliation and that they will new be
competing against vietnam which might have a state-owned enter prize sell -- enterprise selling rice at a lower place. >> senator,s argue we discussed in your office, i happen hope and believe we-renegotiate nafta in a way that helps both countries, and doesn't putting a actual tour -- agriculture in a precarious position. i understand the anxiety but there's a general consensus that nafta needs revision. it's clearly outdated at this point. and during the course of that negotiation, i think we have to be very careful not to do something that adverse live affects those who have been winners during the course of that process. >> let me. and the energy portfolio of nafta is thousand.
one a lot of cross-border trade. will we just kind of leave that lone, do no harm or what might we worked out? ii don't have specific thoughts of anything that encourages trade is a good thing, probably for both countries, and i would say that at this point, we have fairly balanced trade on petroleum generally with mexico specifically. so, it's -- something to focus on it i don't have specific ideas. >> in louisiana they're building a 0 lot of lng export terminals and there's a a lot of refiners from elsewhere building on the mississippi using low cost natural gas and then export. so, a quick win for the
to be careful that it doesn't occur. >> thank you. i will yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i know that it's been said many times in this hearing and there've been several of my colleagues have talked about it, but when it comes to agricultural trade, i can't emphasize enough agricultural trade must be near the top in the trade agenda. and in terms of today's agricultural climate, we have a lot of producers that are expanding the markets with existing new trading partners and the only relief for the livestock prices that are below
the cost is a very important agricultural trading partner. i know you didn't want to get into specifics but i would encourage you if you can to get specific. do you have a timeframe, do you intend to negotiate separately with those countries or are they going to be part of one agreement. can you be that specific? >> that decision hasn't been needed at this point. they have been eager to engage and there are certain time frames required and we are in the process of hopefully getting those consultations. i look forward its confirmed that being involved in the that process, but there is a whole process later on top of that. but the administration's
objective is to do this as quickly as possible. minimizing that isn't in everyone's interest. i hope this will continue to be a very high priority. coming back for a minute, helping the companies expanded the ability to compete as i said earlier is very critical and as they make investments in products to enjoy the competitors off planned roadblocks in their way. they have the geographical indications by the non- tariff barriers made in south dakota such as parmesan and asiago cheese. how do you see your self shaping
the foreign policies like this that are intentionally protecting or promoting global rules aimed at choking off competition and companies around the old >> i'm very familiar with the issue and it seems to me to be an organized effort on behalf of the european union and if we have to take it head on, we will have to discourage other countries from agreeing to these geographical indicators and resist them in the united states. the issue tends to be what happens then third-party market. we have seen a disturbing trend
whereby the trading partners ignored their commitments with respect to intellectual property protection either by failing to implement agreements or by following the rules in order to give the us is unfair advantage. to date for the countries in such standards in their own regimes. >> talking up th >> talking up the intellectual protection it will be a priority of ustr. the enforcement and the like are very serious impediments to the efficiency. >> i appreciate your time and
again i cannot emphasize enough the importance of agriculture and as you start looking at these what we are going to do in the place and how you are going to approach nafta. i hope that you will keep that a high priority. >> senator cantwell. >> thank you for being here and congratulations on the nomination. since i know you are familiar in the kennedy i can throw a lot at you at one. number one, i want to know whether you support the export import bank and the concept of the credit agency for the united states and whether the president should appoint people to get it functioning at the level it
should. number two, will you be aggressive in getting the europeans to stop subsidizing wind you know the wto found that the $17 billion of it legal subsidies brings the total of the european subsidies to about 22 billion. i want to know if you are going to be aggressive on that. our colleagues in the trade facilitation enforcement act included an authorization for 15 million in the trade enforcement trust fund and the was about making sure that we had ample support within the ustr to fight for trade enforcement. they are selling u.s. products and i was happy the last administration had the goal of doubling exports. but i also know that we need to have the personnel. so do you support the
enforcement trust fund and what should the annual appropriations be and if i can ask one last theoretical question, i heard the secretary talk about trade and then there's your position. who is going to be in charge of the trade? >> that about covers all of my talking point. >> i heard what the senator said. very talented and i'm sure that you are up to the task. >> i was the first to start from the bottom in terms of the relationship between the white house and the commerce department and ustr, i expect to have the authority that congress provides i expect to work in a cooperative way with the secretary who i admire and i'm
-- he's very talented in this area. one administration after another there are three sources of influence in the trade policy and the job he is historically to sort it out. historically that's why john kennedy started the agency along with the senate finance committee and the way in the was committee of 1962 so i expect it to work the way that it has, and i look forward to working with all of the parties on that in particular with this committee and the ways and means committee. i hope to have the resources for
sure. >> some colleagues wanted it mandatory. i just want us to put the money they are and have the trade enforcement. right now we don't have a lot so i'm glad that you are committing to 15. thank you. >> in terms of the subsidies, yes i will be aggressive. i realize that it's a problem and i will follow the issue for a long time. i never really litigated or have been involved in it but it's a serious problem that has gone on and on and it has an impact on american manufacturing. in terms of the bank at this point, i am awaiting instructions and i appreciate the importance to the companies and the exports and having said that, that is one of those issues with strong views on both sides and i expect to do with
the president instructs me to do. >> so you don't think as part of our trade agenda, do you think we can be successful without an aggressive approach? >> we have to do everything we can to encourage exports. people have sprung for it and normally in those cases they realized the administration will make it policy -- >> there is a very small group that is politically motivated but when you allow the united states senate to vote on it and they supported it in the majority of the republicans that
supported it, the notion that somehow it doesn't have major support it is being held hostage by some political coverage, so i hope that you will be allowed about this because to me, we will lose u.s. manufacturing if boeing can put them on a plane and get credit financing how is that helping ge? while other agencies on the international basis are going to be aggressive about this, we have to get the right strategy and it can be a discussion about how we make sure we are not doing anything to distort the market, but i think the administration has to get real that you can't go stand in front of a plane in south carolina and then not have a functioning bank. so, i hope that we can get the there. >> thank you mr. chairman and into the ranking member. it's nice to see you again. i just want to underscore what the senator from washington
ended with and i think that you will find the diagnosis of the description ofor thedescriptions probably dead on. i also want to say that i look forward to working with you and the ranking member to figure out a bipartisan way through this process that is needed. and one would also mention, i know you've covered this ground and i'm the last one and i'm sure that you have rea read andl so i won't ask a question about steel, but i do want to just observe as my colleagues have about overcapacity like china and others is hurting our industry including in pueblo colorado. so we talked about this a little bit when you were in my office and i know what your answer is and i appreciate it and look forward to working with you to make change just before going to benefit the steelworkers and the steel industry in this country. i want to just get one question in before you go.
as you know when you talked about today the administration throughout the campaign signaled that it intended to renegotiate and this is important to my state. it's important to the ranchers and depends on exports for example last year colorado had one in $486 million in canada and mexico alone accounted for one third of the exports and agricultural producers are worried. they are interested and curious about this opening but they are worried about opening up nafta leave mexico and canada to impose higher tariffs and bigots will be physically stored by the negotiations. they are also worried that negotiating will limit the input and market access that the united states currently enjoys
notwithstanding the political conversation that we have had in this country and i wonder if you could finish today by responding a little bit and also talking as you did for distinguishing as you did when we met about your views with respect to trade and with respect to the importance on trade in agriculture in this country. >> i think that we have to do something for manufacturing. we have a huge manufacturing trade deficit and i think we have to do something. and there are a variety of things in the framework that need updating and i think those will tend to help manufacturing. your position that is equally
valid is that agriculture has done pretty well in a variety of the products and we have to be careful not to lose what we gainewe'vegained and that is a . we are very important to mexico also and i realize they have other options, but a huge percentage of their exports come to the united states, so we do have leverage and i think if we do it properly and rationally, we can improve both. that would be my objective. i know that it is the objective of the above of the members of the committee and others in congress, so i would subscribe to that because i do believe that it can be done. i'm not suggesting that i think it will be easy but i do think it can be done. the united states and mexico need each other economically and
have an agreement that is 20 some years out of date. it doesn't even have a digital chapter because there was no need for that. i think that is something we can do in a way that helps those of us and doesn't risk damage which is also very important. >> i appreciate that answer. even in the negotiation we have to take care to make sure that the current markets continue to be opening the way that they have and i know that you appreciate that. i was back the balance of my time. >> thank you, senator. we have one more question to ask. >> lets me if i might go into this resource enforcement issue a little bit deeper. isn't cutting the enforcement resources and indication to
cheat their workers and businesses? it seems like a simple question but kind of h. a trap. >> it is a substantive question because it relates to the real world we keep battling for these resources. i very much enjoyed the conversation and have a lot of talent. it relates to what is ahead. >> i think that ustr needs more resources. if there are fewer resources for the trade enforcement in the budget which is about to come out, how do you go about addressing the challenges when we spent closwe've spent close s
talking about? >> we are going to do the best we can with what we have. if i were in the administration i've been blogging -- law being for more resources. we need more resources and with whatever we have to we will do the best job that we can do. >> these are questions that bump up against the reality that senators are talking about. one of the things i was struck by in the office on this question of finally getting a fair shake for the timber workers in the mills, we have a situation where the hiring freeze is making it hard for them to get all the date of the day you need and the provinces
of canada so i'm going to operate under the assumption that you are going to fight with all of your energy and considerable talent to make sure that you get the resources. since it is the end of the hearing we will come back to this point that one out of five jobs revolves around international trade, and i think the premier economic issue of our time is how we get wages up for people. how do we increase wages and so many of the trade jobs have that added value components and reflect higher you level of productivity because we are trying to get them into the tough global markets. so i think to have you as you said today indicate that you will be part of the full-court press on the enforcement and you will play offense in terms of
creating opportunities for our companies and our workers overseas is an appropriate way to end this. mr. chairman, i have a unanimous consent request to put the document in with respect to this disclosure issue. we have a bipartisan disclosure memo on the nominee that has been done by the committee and then i would like to enter into the record asking unanimous consent to enter an agreement in which you represent sugar and alcohol. >> we look forward to continuing the conversation. thank you for your time today. >> i want to thank all of my colleagues that attended today and participated. most especially mr. lighthizer.
we appreciate all the work you did while you were here working with senator dole and others and the work that you have done the same. thank you for your appearance here today and most of all for your willingness again to serve the country in this important position. i personally think it is terrific for you to be willing to get into this and give your life to it. it means a lot to me and before we adjourn i just want to note the turnaround time for written questions for nominations. i ask the senators to set all questions by 6 p.m. tomorrow evening and with that, the committee will be in recess.
[inaudible conversations] the senate judiciary committee looks into the abuse of the visa is issued to the fiancés of u.s. citizens. we will have live coverage on c-span and c-span radio. anyone that is involved in short-term trading meaning they are trading on stock all of those people want edge. that is a common term in the industry.
and there is this edge that is kind of useless for the purpose and then there is the gray zone and then inside information. >> new york staff writer talks about the insider trading case against the hedge fund manager stephen cohen in her book black edge inside information, dirty money and the request to bring down the most wanted man on wall street. >> the central characters in the heart of the story and in my book are these former portfolio managers for the fund. matthew is one and michael steinberg is the other. he is currently serving a link the prison sentence althougfee s case is on appeal. he was convicted but then the conviction was later overturned after an appeals court made a ruling that made it harder to
convict somebody for insider trading. >> 8 p.m. eastern on c-span q-and-a. raise your right hand. >> with confirmation hearings for visiting court nominee starting next week on thursday at 8 p.m. eastern, we will look at the confirmation hearings of all eight supreme court justices. starting with anthony kennedy in 87, clarence thomas in 1991 and ruth bader ginsburg 93, stephen breyer, 1994, john roberts, 2005, samuel alito, 2006. watch thursday at 8 p.m. c-spa c-span2. having a national referendum on leaving the european union and ththeb