Lighthizer Testifies on China Trade Deal, Criticizes WTO

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had a lot to say about the president’s economic agreement with China during testimony in Washington on Wednesday. He says Beijing is buying more American products and that the Asian nation would live up to the terms of the Phase One agreement. Lighthizer says his office is closely tracking the number of goods China is purchasing from the U.S. and is in frequent contact with Chinese officials. The New York Times says even though China has committed to purchasing $200 billion in goods by the end of next year, many analysts say that’s not realistic given the impacts of COVID-19 around the world. “Every indication is that despite COVID-19, China is going to do what it says it will do,” Lighthizer said during testimony. He pointed out the administration’s new or revised trade deals with Japan, Canada, and Mexico have improved terms for American businesses and farmers. However, he was more guarded on a possible deal with the European Union happening soon, accusing the EU of thinly-veiled protectionism. Lighthizer also renewed the administration’s fight with the World Trade Organization, saying the WTO needs “radical reform.”