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Trade players to watch in Congress after Democrats retake House

(Reuters) – The commerce panorama in the U.S. House of Representatives will shift considerably subsequent 12 months following Democrats’ seizure of management in Tuesday’s elections. In the Senate, the Republicans strengthened their majority. Here is a take a look at key congressional commerce players to watch:

FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reacts to the outcomes of the U.S. midterm elections at a Democratic election night time rally and celebration in Washington, U.S. Nov. 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo


House Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi has introduced her intention to return as House speaker and to this point has no challengers. As speaker, Pelosi, who has been has been skeptical of commerce offers in current years, can be accountable for bringing to the House ground a vote on the current deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement subsequent 12 months. While she voted for the unique NAFTA in 1993 and a U.S.-South Korea commerce deal in 2011, she opposed the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership commerce deal. She has pledged to “closely scrutinize” the brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Pelosi additionally has applauded Trump’s preliminary spherical of tariffs towards China, citing the necessity to fight China’s “brazenly unfair trade policies”


Richard Neal of Massachusetts is predicted to grow to be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, probably the most highly effective commerce posts in Congress. A 30-year House veteran with 25 years on the panel, Neal opposed the unique NAFTA. He has mentioned that the “bar for supporting a new NAFTA will be high,” and that he’ll insist on stronger enforcement of labor and environmental provisions. He additionally has pledged that Ways and Means Democrats will extra usually query Trump administration officers on their commerce methods, together with how finest to take care of China’s commerce practices.


Representative Bill Pascrell, of New Jersey, a extra conventional pro-labor Democrat, is in search of to head the Ways and Means commerce subcommittee, the place he now serves because the rating Democrat. However, two different Democrats on the panel, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, are weighing whether or not to search the submit, in accordance to House Democratic aides. All three have expressed considerations about Trump’s China tariff technique whereas acknowledging the necessity to take a more durable line to halt mental property theft. “I fear a chaotic and seemingly ad hoc trade policy will be ineffective in confronting China,” Pascrell mentioned in June.


Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa farmer and fixture in the chamber, has but to announce his choice whether or not to return to chair the tax-and-trade-focused Senate Finance Committee or hold the gavel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A return to Finance to change the retiring Orrin Hatch would carry a stronger voice advocating on behalf of farmers and ranchers who’re being harm by Trump’s tariffs towards China and on metal and aluminum. Grassley has mentioned Trump’s tariffs are “very, very detrimental” to his house state, however has additionally been extremely vital of China’s commerce practices, expressing hope that Trump’s commerce technique works. As a corn and soybean farmer, Grassley has utilized for a chunk of the $12 billion in federal assist for farmers, whereas criticizing this system for permitting Chinese-owned Virginia-based pork producer Smithfield Foods to participate.


If Grassley decides to stay chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho can be subsequent in line to head Senate Finance, buying and selling in the gavel of the Senate Banking Committee. Crapo was one among solely 11 Republicans to vote towards a non-binding measure that sought to restrict Trump’s tariff powers. As Banking Committee chair, he formed a bipartisan regulation this 12 months to strengthen nationwide safety critiques of U.S. acquisitions by international firms, geared toward thwarting China’s purchases of delicate applied sciences — a key grievance in the U.S. commerce dispute with China. Crapo additionally has advocated for commerce guidelines favoring Idaho’s potato, lumber, dairy and sugar pursuits.


The House Ways and Means Committee will endure important modifications as a number of key Republicans depart due to retirements, election losses and a governorship. Republicans leaving are Dave Reichert of Washington state, Sam Johnson of Texas, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, Diane Black of Tennessee, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Mike Bishop of Michigan and Jim Renacci of Ohio. Kevin Brady of Texas, the present Republican chairman, is predicted to keep on as rating member.

Two Democrats are additionally departing, Sander Levin of Michigan, who’s retiring, and Joe Crowley of New York, who misplaced a major race. Replacements can be decided by Republican and Democratic management in the House, with seniority enjoying a job in picks.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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