Following his confirmation hearing last week, President Trump’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer responded affirmatively to every request made by Senate Finance Committee members in their questions for the record to tackle what they see as unfair Chinese trade policies.
[Jack Caporal| March 20, 2017 |Inside US Trade]
But Lighthizer did not take a deep dive into the details behind actions he would take in response to the slew of issues the senators laid out. Instead, he largely stuck with responses that called for holding China accountable to the commitments it has made and using all appropriate enforcement options to resolve trade issues.
Lighthizer applied that approach to a question from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) about whether the Trump administration would pursue negotiations with China for a bilateral investment treaty or push for a different type of trade deal.
“The Administration places a high priority on utilizing a broad range of tools to ensure that China treats the United States, U.S. exports, and U.S. companies fairly with respect to trade and investment,” Lighthizer said. “We will be reviewing the full range of potential tools, including the U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty negotiations, to assess the best path for the Administration to achieve this objective. If confirmed, I look forward to consulting with the Congress on these priority issues.”