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Cabinet officials set to testify next week in House trade hearings

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee in separate hearings.

   The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday announced two trade hearings next week, one to hear testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and another to hear from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
   The committee didn’t respond to an email asking why the two Cabinet members are set to testify about the same topic during separate hearings.
   The committee will host Lighthizer at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and Ross 9:00 a.m. next Thursday.
   In statements, Brady indicated he was encouraging various actions from the chiefs’ agencies.
   Brady pushed for binding investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in U.S. free trade agreements, consistent with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) objectives. The push comes after several reports have emerged since the August start of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation that the Trump administration could seek to make participation in the NAFTA ISDS mechanism more flexible for countries.
   Brady also said in that statement that the U.S. must continue to bust export barriers around the world.
   On Ross, Brady said in a separate statement that his scheduled testimony will be “especially timely” given the administration’s recent decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as the Commerce Department’s underlying work in conducting the “Section 232” investigations that found imports of those metals to pose a U.S. national security threat.
   “We will continue to work with the Administration to build off the success of President Trump’s tax cuts and regulatory reform by further narrowing these tariffs to target unfair trade and avoid harm to our workers and manufacturers here at home,” Brady said in a statement.

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