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Crapo Emphasizes Need for Fair Trade Policy at Hearing with USTR Nominee

“We need an effective USTR to tear down trade barriers and confront abusive trade practices”

WASHINGTON, DC – At a hearing to consider the nomination of Katherine Tai to serve as the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, stressed the need for strong enforcement of our trade deals and urged Ms. Tai, if confirmed, to press for policies that create a fairer climate for trade and expanded growth opportunities in the international marketplace for Idaho businesses and consumers.

 USTR Hearing

WATCH: Ranking Member Crapo delivers opening remarks at the nomination hearing of Katherine Tai for USTR

Key Excerpts:

“I know the importance of free trade very well.  Idaho exports over $4 billion in goods annually, including $1.7 billion in computer and electronics products.  Remarkably, 85 percent of Idaho’s exporters are businesses that employ fewer than 500 people.  We cannot forget that.  Free trade does not just strengthen the powerful; it empowers all Americans, including those running and working in smaller businesses.”

“The importance of fair trade, and the price of it being denied, is also well understood by the people of Idaho.  Idaho is home to Micron Technology – a global leader in semiconductor technology.  Chinese state-owned companies stole Micron’s trade secrets in order to secure an unfair advantage.  China’s systematic theft of American innovation has been estimated to cost the United States nearly half a trillion dollars each year.  

“Idaho’s softwood lumber producers face an uneven playing field against subsidized Canadian exports.  We cannot let the 750,000 jobs in the lumber industry or the 420 million acres of family-owned timberlands be threatened by unfair subsidies.

“Idaho’s world-famous potatoes cannot be shipped more than 16 miles south of the Mexican border because of protectionism disguised as a safety measure.  Potato farms, including Cranney Farms in Oakley, Idaho, gave away millions of potatoes last year because domestic customers dried up as a result of the pandemic.

“This is why the United States needs an effective USTR to tear down trade barriers and confront abusive trade practices.

To read Ranking Member Crapo’s full remarks at today’s nomination hearing, click here.

To watch Crapo’s exchange during the question period, where he asks about issues related to USMCA dispute settlement, subsidized lumber imports and IP protection, click here.