Senate lawmakers call on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to dramatically improve transparency and consultation with Congress on pending trade negotiations. 

Led by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, members of the Senate Finance Committee cited negotiations to waive intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization, where details became public before Congress was briefed or shown the agreement, as a recent example. 

A joint statement from the lawmakers says, “We want to ensure that this failure to consult properly with Congress will not be replicated in other areas.” 

Congress has primary authority to regulate tariffs and commerce with foreign nations under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. 

It delegates authority to the executive branch, with the requirement that it be consulted about trade policies. Grassley has frequently raised concerns about operations at the USTR. 

Last August, he called on President Biden to immediately appoint qualified individuals to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the USTR.

(Story Courtesy of the NAFB News Service)