The U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer went before the House Ways and Means committee to talk about the U.S. and China trade relations.
He explains the Office of the Trade Representative has engaged in intense and specific negotiations with China for several months and they are making progress. Adding if trade was not bipartisan they would not have as much success
They are working with reformers in China who want to make changes and hope to have specific language. He sees this as a process though and does not expect a single package to solve trade issues.
Lighthizer says, “We might be able to have an agreement that helps us turn the corner in our economic relationship with China. Let me be clear, much still needs to be done. Both before an agreement is reached and more importantly after it is reached, if one is reached.”
Lighthizer adds they need to solve the outstanding issue of enforceability.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also was talking to the House at the same time to go over the state of the rural economy for the House Agriculture Committee.
Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne is on the committee and took the opportunity to follow up on trade with China, “How close do you think the President and China are to reaching a trade deal? I know you mentioned earlier that negotiations are, I believe, ‘Done when they’re done.’ But I have to go back to my constituents with a better answer than that. What can I tell them?”
Perdue responded, “Well, you can tell them that we believe there is substantive, meaningful trade negotiations taking place.”
He adds, “Based on my observations of the Oval office, I believe there is a sincere desire really on both sides to resolve the trade disputes.”