Photo: REUTERS file
politics

White House handling of U.S.-Japan trade deal angers Democrats

35 Comments
By Andrea Shalal

House Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration for not consulting sufficiently with Congress while negotiating a mini trade deal with Japan, failing to provide details about it and refusing to testify at a congressional hearing.

Earl Blumenauer, the Oregon Democrat who heads the trade subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, said lawmakers were seeking to work together with the U.S. Trade Representative's office, but that was proving "very, very hard".

Wednesday's hearing on the U.S.-Japan deal signed by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept 25 underscored growing frustration among U.S. lawmakers about what they see as moves by the Trump administration to circumvent Congress's constitutional authority for trade policy.

Trump, a Republican, has been at odds with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and even some Republicans over a range of trade matters, including hefty tariffs he has slapped on China and U.S. allies, and the stalled approval of a new trade accord with Mexico and Canada.

Trade experts told the hearing that the U.S.-Japan trade deal could expose the United States to a challenge before the World Trade Organization, whose rules ban such deals unless they cover "substantially" all trade between the parties.

The Trump administration says it will keep talking with Japan about a more comprehensive deal, but Blumenauer said that might not actually happen given the 2020 presidential election and Japan's pursuit of closer trade ties with other countries.

"This might be the high water mark with Japan," he told reporters following testimony about many items not covered by the deal, such as autos from Japan, U.S. industrial goods and farm products such as rice, butter and sugar. "I'm afraid that... the Japanese will move on and we'll be left behind."

Republicans agreed more work was needed, but said the mini deal would help U.S. farmers and ranchers, who have been hard hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other countries.

Japan's lower house of parliament approved the trade deal on Tuesday, with its upper house likely to follow suit.

The Trump administration says the deal does not require U.S. congressional approval since Congress in 2015 granted the executive branch the unilateral right to adjust tariffs.

But Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat, demanded the administration provide more details to allow Congress to exercise its required oversight.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
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Trump is the one that pulled out of the previous deal just to renegotiate the exact same deal on the areas that Japan and the US agreed upon previously. Only to succeed in wasting time and money.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

The incoming government will renegotiate, or join the TPP.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

U.S. farmers and ranchers, who have been hard hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other countries.

Farms are getting hit hard while Trump mole whacks away at the economy, plays golf, tweets, and looks after his own shady global businesses and investments.

A recent report from the American Farm Bureau Federation says the number of farms filing for bankruptcy is up 24% from the previous year. It's the steepest rise the farming industry has seen in years, and the total farm debt for 2019 is expected to hit $416 billion, a record high.

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/10/778097948/farm-bankruptcies-surge

Will Trump just add even higher subsidies to appease corporate farms to keep their votes? More socialism/welfare for the rich who support him?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

of course it angers the do nothing Dems; they havent got a trade deal done for the past 10 years with Japan. Ambassadors come and play, Japanese companies do as they please in the US. Why bother with the Dems anymore? Just bypass them, get more done.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Why bother with the Dems anymore? Just bypass them, get more done.

Yeah, why bother with democracy at all, when you can just abolish it and do whatever the ruling party for life wants?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Those unable to persuade will attempt to ram their ideas through knowing any democratic process will kill their ideas.

Trump is the guy that drives on the shoulder of the freeway to get past congestion. He prefers an authoritarian government.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Just hopeless. They had years and years to do something about it, but they squandered every opportunity. Then, as soon as a decisive leader comes along who has an instinctive understanding of how badly Americans have been shafted on trade, they puff themselves up in indignation. How dare they.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

We fought the Cold War to stop that from happening and to protect freedom.

The ones who fought the Cold War must be rolling in their graves on how servile the current US leader is to the enemies.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Donny ‘s daughter is getting trademarks from the Chinese, Donny is bending over backwards for N.Korea.

The ones he picks up fights with are democracies, wonder who is the real ‘leftist ‘ here.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

We fought the Cold War to stop that from happening and to protect freedom. Suggesting otherwise disrespects all those who died in the millions fighting leftist totalitarianism.

There's no such thing as leftist totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is what people on the left have been fighting against over the last hundred years. The authoritarian regimes either pervert socialist/communist ideology or they were/are right wing to begin with.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I'm a 55 year old American and therefore have seen the effects of neoliberalism policies on the working class people in my country for my entire adult life. I don't care if you are a Republican Elephant or a Democratic Donkey, these policies have failed. Millions of Americans are suffering. The media feeds all the false news to incite emotional outburst from thier viewing floks of sheep and sell, sell, sell advertisement in the process. The system has failed millions of Americans and this must change.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

They can complain all they want. They gave that power to be apart of trade deals a while ago.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“The authoritarian regimes either pervert socialist communist ideology or they were/are right wing to begin with.”

There’s one born every day. A true believer in the infallibility of the State. Tis a pity the Left’s good intentions, and all their intentions are ever thus, are so easily waylaid. When the useful idiots have done their duty, the message is always “liberty is so precious that it must be rationed.” A hundred million deaths brought about as a direct result of this evil creed have taught us that much.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

There’s one born every day.

Nice.

So, you disagree with the comment I originally replied to -

Why bother with the Dems anymore? Just bypass them, get more done.

You're in favor of options, as long as they're capitalist options.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

US Farmers are not getting hit hard. Farmer's are notorious great actors and cry the most but never seem to get out of the business. The Democrats are angry because they wont' be able to be in on the deals and make their profits i.e. sit on special counsel boards to the Board of Directors etc.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Farmer's are notorious great actors and cry the most but never seem to get out of the business.

Thats just brilliant , wonder why nobody thought of that before.

Is that taught at Trump University in the Farm Economics basics?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The wind blowing and the sun rising angers Democrats.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"This might be the high water mark with Japan," he told reporters following testimony about many items not covered by the deal, such as autos from Japan, U.S. industrial goods and farm products such as rice, butter and sugar. "I'm afraid that... the Japanese will move on and we'll be left behind."

BINGO! Donnie ruining another one of our strategic Alliances, likely in order from his Master Putin. Putin would love to run a an oil pipeline down from Sakhalin though Hokkaido to mainland Japan and secure another energy partner/hostage. The Puppet doing his Master's work...

The wind blowing and the sun rising angers Democrats.

Repubs disagree that the Sun rises because they don't like the process by which that conclusion was made....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everything that Trump does angers Democrats. Trump's very existence angers Democrats. I've never seen a bigger bunch of easily-triggered crybabies in my life.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Everything that Trump does angers Democrats.

Not everything, I was really happy when he got Mexico to pay for "the wall"...especially since he promised 67 times to do it...

Trump's very existence angers Democrats.

Not true, I'd be fine if he resigned and went back to hosting his stupid reality TV show...

I've never seen a bigger bunch of easily-triggered crybabies in my life.

Don't think so, just wait until he's impeached, then you'll see a WHOLE bunch of easily-triggered crybabies...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@rgcivilan1

I am mixed with your comment.

I have personally seen many of my family and friends have to shutter their farms and dairies over the years.

Please get your facts straight on this.

But I agree that the dems are butt sore for not getting their piece of the pie.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Dems angry? No- it can’t be! Just trying to figure out how they are going to tie this trade agreement to America being founded solely on racism and how it must be fundamentally transformed into a new-Marxist nirvana based on racial, ethnic, gender, (etc. etc.) identity. Sounds crazy I know but that’s what Dems do. It kinda makes them angry about things - well, everything actually.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I've never seen a bigger bunch of easily-triggered crybabies in my life.

Check Trump’s Twitter account.

Nobody cries like a baby better than Trump. Pathetic.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The obama sycophants passed something that has come back to bite them.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Senate has oversight of foreign treaties, not the House.

I wonder why House members are allowed foreign travel on the People's dime at all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It kinda makes them angry about things - well, everything actually.

You sound quite angry about people being angry. Triggered, even.

Just trying to figure out how they are going to tie this trade agreement to America being founded solely on racism and how it must be fundamentally transformed into a new-Marxist nirvana based on racial, ethnic, gender, (etc. etc.) identity

Have you been watching those outraged TV channels again? Tut tut.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To abe, america is donal trump, there is nobody else.It is time america wakes up to this point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't even read the article!

However based on the title alone my patriotic radar says a lot of Americans don't really care about how Democrats feel. TRUMP will serve a second term, of course people are screaming BS, but it's the vibe of the country. He won the election, he was duly elected fair and square and he will repeat, especially now with the circus thinking they have some dirt. They have nothing, they are reaching. Simple minded people called SHEEP!

TRUMP 2020 run to Vegas and drop money on that!

As for the Trade deal, again no one cares!

Because the UNITED STATES MILITARY Parks an Aircraft carrier in Japan! Oh yea the rent increased for that aircraft carrier also, went fro 2 billion to 8 billion yen a year. All the rest of the hardware and boots are for retaining the ground that aircraft carrier MIGHT need to go out and purchase hence is part of the package.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

trump: Molests cultures, abuses constitutional ethics, to what end?

trump does not have a clue what cause & affect mean. Short term gain for long term pain.

The Big Picture does not exist for trump, just whatever seems like a good idea at the time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh no! Democrats are angry about something. That's serious, it only happens 7 days a week.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Those shake hands of fox Trump and raccoon dog Abe just made more confusion to world economy. Are they golf comrades or casino friends?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What else is new? Congress has lost or ceded much of its power to the president over the past century. Most notably war powers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, why bother with democracy at all, when you can just abolish it and do whatever the ruling party for life wants?

I agree, the Democrats only care about one thing and that’s thwarting the Trump agenda at every turn and impeach him, they could care about his civil rights or that he’s even President, head of the executive branch, and they want to constantly obstruct him so if that’s the case, why bother dealing with them, he doesn’t have to and I wouldn’t either. If they get mad and don’t like it....oh, well....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even the president needs to deal with the elected congress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even the president needs to deal with the elected congress

Not if they don’t deal with him.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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