This year’s USTR trade agenda hearing at the senate finance committee is quite interesting. Ron Kirk just stepped down and Demetrios took the testimony as the acting USTR. Demetrios looks both young and smart. I am not sure whether he is among the top candidates to be considered for the USTR position but his congressional working experiences and legal background make him at least a qualified candidate in my view. Nevertheless, USTR usually is a political appointee. More interesting to watch is Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman now serve in the same committee. Sherrod obviously holds a very suspicious view about trade liberalization. As I remember he was the only senator who raised question focusing on import restrictions. Demetrios looked like a student before Rob Portman understandably. Attending such a hearing should make Portman feel quite special too. “Unfortunately”, now he has to speak more for Ohio than for globalization. TPA (Trade Promotion Act) turned out to be the No.1 hot topic in today’s hearing. Japan & TPP raised grave concerns as well. I am not sure whether it is the best timing to accept Japan into the TPP. This unavoidably will make the agriculture & auto related negotiations much more challenging than otherwise. Something a little surprising to me is China was not targeted very often today.
By Sheng Lu
5 thoughts on “2013 U.S. Trade Policy Agenda Hearing”
I find it interesting the TPP wants to add Japan because they tried to keep Asia-pacific countries out of it. By adding Japan I think the TPP is going to cause complications on what Japan will be allowed to import. I thought that they would pick China over Japan so it came to my surprise when the TPP wanted Japan instead of China. Im eager to see what Japan has to offer and why the TPP thinks Japan will be a better country to include rather then China.
This article relates to our last assignment. I’m also surprised that adding Japan to the TPP is a topic of conversation. I also think that this will cause some more chaos on top of the already present topics of conflict within the TPP. I feel it would be more beneficial to add China, as we would be able to import Apparel items under the TPP duty regulations.
China is not a like-minded country and it is far too big, too different and too complicated.
Going off the other comments, I myself find it very interesting that they would add a country like Japan to the mix. Like noted in the articles we read for the last assignment adding Japan is going to cause far more complications than are necessary. They should chose a country that will help balance out the dynamics as opposed to adding fuel to the fire. Although it will be interesting to see whether or not Japan accepts the offer and how the other countries react when it is official.
Japan has now been accepted to join the other 11 countries of TPP. With Japan joining the negotiations, TPP countries would account for nearly 40% of global GDP. The momentum of the negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and Japan would be maintained. Overall the decision to have Japan be the 12th member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has not brought in negative talk.