On Tuesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss a question that is central to the Trump Administration’s trade policy agenda: What is the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO)? As the 25th anniversary of the 1994 creation of the WTO (in its current form) approaches, the Trump Administration has been vocal in its criticism of the WTO’s shortcomings and failure to abide by the text of the agreements as written in 1994. The Administration has pledged, as part of its overall trade policy, to seek critical reforms that will improve and reform the WTO’s functions going forward. And, as Senator Wyden put it, trade issues including WTO challenges are one of the least known and biggest problems facing the United States’ ability to create good paying jobs and to expand our markets.
Ambassador Lighthizer answered questions on a number of topics relating to the WTO and, more generally, current U.S. trade policies: