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Lankford Questions US Trade Representative on President’s Trade Agenda 

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Finance hearing entitled, “The President’s 2024 Trade Policy Agenda,” with United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai testifying. He focused his questions on the Biden Administration’s trade agenda and its lack of engagement on Free Trade Agreements. Lankford also pushed Tai on ways the US can prevent unfair trade practices that harm Oklahoma small to mid-sized businesses on the international trade market. 


Lankford: …We’ve continued to be able to press on Free Trade Agreements, and it has been the frustration of this committee and has been the frustration of many of our ag producers in my state about there is no ongoing FTAs that seem to be moving at all in that. Has that changed? Are there any Free Trade Agreements that are currently being negotiated?

Tai: For your ag producers, I just want to make the case that and reassert we are working for them every single day, and we are scoring wins for them without having to do the long negotiations in a Free Trade Agreements. So the short answer to be responsive to you is, no, we’re not doing the big comprehensive agreements that are really great for ag and terrible for our industries, but we are nevertheless securing wins—$21 billion over the last three years.

Lankford: The challenge of that is when it’s not an FTA, there’s no certainty on it and that executive agreements come and go with administrations; an FTA has some semblance of certainty on it, will at least know what the plan is and what the long-term relationships on that are. I know Senator Blackburn had mentioned about China in the WTO that we’ve not initiated any new cases on that. I heard from you saying, hey, we’re not going to win anything anyway. And so we’re just not going to do it and not spend time on that. There is a messaging portion of that, that I think is significant as well, to be able to go through the existing tariff review that’s been ongoing for two years….