The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has shared controversial proposals it intends to table in the NAFTA negotiations with the congressional committees of jurisdiction even though other government agencies objected to moving forward with them, sources said, leaving some to question whether the interagency process is broken.
[Jenny Leonard | September 27, 2017 | Inside US Trade]
Those controversial proposals include text on government procurement, dispute settlement, investment and a sunset clause. Sources said those proposals were objected to by at least one party in the interagency process but USTR decided to move ahead with them anyway, sharing text with the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees without making changes following those internal objections.
The interagency process is designed to ensure that USTR takes into account feedback on its proposals and modifies them accordingly to reflect a unified administration position.
USTR, they said, has told staff members from other agencies with objections to text to have their agency’s leader call U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer directly to discuss them.