U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa today announced that the committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 with testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer assessing the current state of the World Trade Organization (WTO) nearly 25 years after its creation and potential reforms that would strengthen the institution.
“The Constitution empowers Congress with regulating commerce with foreign nations. Regular hearings with key executive branch officials who manage trade relations and negotiate on behalf of the country help keep the Congress informed and also serve as an opportunity for members of the committee to ask questions and convey their opinions on ongoing matters,” Grassley said. “The World Trade Organization has been the clearing house for our rules-based international trading system for nearly a quarter century. Overall, it’s been a force for good in moving global commerce forward. But reform and oversight are critical to the proper functioning of institutions, and the WTO is no exception. We must be diligent to ensure that the United States receives the full and intended benefits of WTO membership and that all members play by the rules. I look forward to hearing from Ambassador Lighthizer about how the WTO can adapt to the challenges of our modern economy and help to level the playing field for American farmers, families and businesses.”