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Crapo: President Biden’s Trade Agenda Lacks Ambition, Enforcement

Washington, D.C.--At a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s 2024 Trade Policy Agenda with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) expressed concern with the President’s lack of negotiating real trade agreements and weak record on enforcement of existing trade agreements—the weakest of any Administration in 25 years.

Senator Crapo pressed Ambassador Tai to expand market access and level the playing field for American producers and companies, including by engaging with Japan to expand market access for Idaho potato producers, an issue Crapo and colleagues recently raised in a letter to President Biden.  Crapo also urged USTR to use its available tools to defend American companies against discriminatory Digital Services Taxes (DST).

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Click here or above to view Senator Crapo’s opening statement and  here to watch Crapo question Ambassador Tai.

On expanding access for American potato producers to Japanese markets:

As you know, the National Potato Council, expressed disappointment with how Japan’s ban on U.S. potatoes appeared in the National Trade Estimate (NTE), because it didn’t capture the full extent of the problem.  A number of your stakeholders also took issue with this year’s NTE because of your decision to cut out a number of trade partners from seeing if those barriers were in their public interest.  Did you take the opportunity to discuss the ban of U.S. potatoes in your recent conversations with Japan?

On discriminatory digital services taxes:

Recently, when you were asked about discrimination against U.S. technology companies you said: “how many of these American companies are actually really American companies?” because they are “actually paying taxes there as opposed to paying taxes here…”  Actually, those companies pay billions of dollars in taxes here, but they are paying more overseas—because of discriminatory digital services taxes. 

If you feel it is problematic that U.S. companies are paying more taxes overseas, will you then commit to this Committee that you will actually take action against DSTs rather than just consider it?  And, if countries continue to move forward on implementation of their DSTs, will you take action?