WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), along with a bipartisan group of members from the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced a House resolution encouraging the Administration to participate with other World Trade Organization (WTO) members in reforming the Appellate Body to address longstanding concerns and get the Appellate Body in working order. Specifically, the resolution reaffirms the United States ‘commitment as a member of the WTO and work with other WTO members to achieve reforms that will:
- Improve the speed and predictability of dispute settlement
- Address longstanding concerns with the WTO’s Appellate Body
- Increase transparency at the WTO
- Ensure that WTO members invoke special and differential treatment reserved for developing countries only in fair and appropriate circumstances
- Update the WTO rules to address the needs of the United States and other free and open economies in the 21st century
“For decades, the United States, through the World Trade Organization (WTO), has helped shape the rules for global commerce and knocked down trade barriers, allowing American businesses and its workers to grow and prosper. I support USTR’s efforts to work with our friends to make the WTO more efficient and more transparent, and I recognize and appreciate the WTO is and continues to be a crucial linchpin in global trade. I am pleased to be a co-sponsor of this resolution and look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to strengthen the WTO, said Rep. David Schweikert.
“The WTO is the institute that enforces the world’s rules-based trading system, without it we would be in a race to the bottom. However, it’s clear there are appellate body issues that need to be address and rules that need to be modernized for the 21st century. These changes are going to be written with or without our country’s involvement—it’s up to us to decide who is holding the pen,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “This resolution demonstrates that the House of Representatives supports the WTO as an institution and instructs the Administration to work with our allies to give the body the reforms it needs so desperately. I am proud to be joined by so many of my Ways and Means colleagues to push this forward.”
“So much of Northern Virginia’s economy depends on trade, and sustaining American leadership on trade in part rests on our continued role in the World Trade Organization,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “A reformed WTO remains our best hope for sustaining a rules based trading system where Americans can thrive, and needed reforms will only be achieved with American engagement and leadership.”
“Innovators across North Texas rely on the WTO to institute and enforce trade rules. America having a seat at the table is vital to ensuring that our interests are protected and that the international marketplace is free and fair,” said Rep. Kenny Marchant. “Our resolution calls on the administration to remain engaged with our WTO allies and to work towards reforms that further these goals.”
“While there is no doubt that the WTO requires significant reforms to deal with countries like China, I believe that a functioning WTO still offers the United States the best chance to ensure that trade liberalization is achieved in a manner that is consistent with our values. If we abandon the WTO, it will be harder for us to engage globally and drive the agenda on key issues shaping our future like e-commerce and privacy,” said Rep. Suzan Delbene.
“As global trade is vital for Kansas and our country, we need free and fair trade and an efficient and modernized World Trade Organization (WTO). I am proud to cosponsor this resolution highlighting the need to reform the WTO and appreciate Congressman Kind’s leadership on this bipartisan issue,” said Rep. Ron Estes.
“At this time of crisis for the World Trade Organization, Congress must reaffirm its support for a strong rules-based global trading system,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “American workers, farmers, and manufacturers depend on an equitable and transparent WTO, and America must take a leading role in proposing thoughtful and equitable reforms.”
In October, Rep. Kind led a bipartisan congressional delegation trip to Geneva, Switzerland where they met with official and discussed the modernization of the WTO, including ways to address the looming appellate body issue.
The Ways and Means Committee is the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.
Read the resolution text here.
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