December 10, 2018

New Democrat Coalition Chair Statement on Conversation with U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer

New Democrat Coalition Chair Jim Himes (CT-04) released the following statement after a conversation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer:

“U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and I had a constructive conversation Friday in which he expressed his interest in engaging closely with members of Congress and I agreed that such engagement would be essential to consideration of the revised NAFTA agreement, but also the ongoing challenges caused by tariffs and the President’s threat to withdraw from NAFTA.”

“I reiterated the importance to the Ambassador of consulting with all Members of Congress, particularly our Members on the Ways and Means Committee.

“I expressed my opposition to President Trump starting a process to withdraw from NAFTA as a negotiating tactic. NAFTA can and should be improved, but threatening unilateral withdrawal will create economic chaos and not build the trust necessary for bipartisan progress.

“New Democrat Coalition Members were integral to the passage of Trade Promotion Authority and every trade agreement in recent decades. As we have said from the onset, New Democrats support updating NAFTA to reflect the modern trade issues of a 21st century economy. This administration will need bipartisan support to successfully push trade agreements through Congress and we urge the Administration to engage with us on this and other agreements moving forward.”