The Multilateralist

Congressional Dems want more cash for U.S. trade office

The Hill is reporting that a group of Congressional Democrats wants the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) to get millions in new funding. What accounts for the largesse? A new Democratic push for negotiating new free trade agreements? Not quite. The Congressional group wants the funding to support USTR’s efforts to monitor Chinese compliance with ...

The Hill is reporting that a group of Congressional Democrats wants the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) to get millions in new funding. What accounts for the largesse? A new Democratic push for negotiating new free trade agreements? Not quite. The Congressional group wants the funding to support USTR’s efforts to monitor Chinese compliance with World Trade Organization rules:

The 37 lawmakers requested an additional $6.6 million, including $3.4 million requested by the Obama administration along with another $3.2 million for USTR to "expand its efforts to monitor and investigate China’s industrial policies, in order to enforce World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and create a more level playing field for American workers and businesses," they said in a letter obtained by The Hill

Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine) are leading the effort to provide the trade office with more funding [snip]

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk recently said his office is "woefully short" on resources to investigate issues and had "exhausted its entire annual translation budget in three months on a single China case," the letter said. 

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