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GOP Rep. Kevin Brady: Biden should end 'de facto trade moratorium'

"The administration is not yet pursuing new trade agreements," said the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Updated: July 3, 2021 - 11:36pm

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Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Just the News there's a "de facto trade moratorium" under the Biden Administration and he's urging the president and his trade representative, Katherine Tai, to pursue new trade agreements. 

"I think it's really important that we do more and America continue to lead on trade," Brady said during a press briefing marking the one-year anniversary of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) with members of the Texas congressional Delegation. "Right now there is sort of a de facto trade moratorium. The administration is not yet pursuing new trade agreements.

"I continue to urge Ambassador Tai, who I think will be a terrific trade ambassador for the U.S., and President Biden, to pursue new agreements, opening markets in the U.K. and Europe, an expanded comprehensive agreement with Japan. I think there are more opportunities in Africa, as well. I'm urging the administration to seek a phase two agreement with China that addresses the remaining trade barriers and distortions and subsidies we have with them, and then allowing us to begin subtracting tariffs." 

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who joined Brady during the event, said there is more work for the federal government to do regarding trade with Mexico beyond USMCA.

"We used to have about 18, 19 million Mexicans that would come over and spend money at the Galleria, the North Star mall," he said. "It was closed, what they call the non-essential border restriction, and we want it to open ... we certainly want to have tourism open because they spent so much money in the United States."

Addressing the issue of illegal migration and border security, Brady said it was "clearly a mistake" for the administration to have ended the "remain in Mexico" policy that required asylum-seekers arriving at the border to stay in Mexico to wait for their court hearing.

"It is a key policy and a common sense policy under the Trump administration, but it is under any administration, and I credit Mexico ... as well as Canada," he said. "Mexico has taken strong steps to try to deter migrants from from moving through Mexico and in the United States. They have been willing to be a strong partner with this. And I think we should let them play that role."

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