HANOI — U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, at his first public appearance here during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting, said the U.S. defending its own market against unfair trade practices should not be confused with protectionism — the definition of which, he claims, “is sort of migrating.”
[Jenny Leonard] May 21st, 2017 [Inside Trade]
“Our view in this administration is we can take action to stop unfair trade in the United States market. And the question again becomes ‘what steps can be taken to really lead to free trade?’ And to the extent those steps are confused with protectionism, we find that unfortunate,” Lighthizer said at the closing press conference of the APEC meeting on May 21.
“So our view is we want free trade, we want fair trade, we want a system that leads to greater market efficiency throughout the world,” he continued. “That’s really the underlying objective of organizations like this and the WTO and others.”
Lighthizer, who was responding to a question about whether the U.S. is committed to fighting protectionism, said achieving greater market efficiency “is in all of our interests,” but added that the question is “what do you do to get there?”
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