House, Senate Bill Would Require Trump to Disclose Foreign Business Interests Before Taking Trade Actions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, joined a group of 45 Senate and House members in introducing a bill requiring the President to publicly disclose any financial interests that would be at stake before acting on trade matters. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) led the bicameral Presidential Trade Transparency Act of 2017.
"We need to have confidence that decisions on trade negotiations are being made in our national interest from the start or we're in trouble. We cannot sit down at the bargaining table blind to potential conflicts," said Rep. Pascrell. "Our legislation is imperative to bring needed transparency and help the American people understand the full extent of the President’s likely conflicts of interest. My pursuit of the President’s tax returns would serve the same purpose."
"Americans have a right to know if the President is looking out for the good of the country or just his own bottom line when he negotiates a trade deal, decides whether or not to enforce our trade laws, or decides whether to cut tariffs on imports from a developing country," said Ranking Member Wyden. "Trump has business interests around the world, but he continues to keep the full nature of those ties secret."
"It is imperative that all Presidents of the United States – including President Trump – are fully transparent about the nature and extent of their ties to foreign nations," said Ranking Member Neal. "This bill would cement in law that Presidents must disclose all of their financial interests with countries that are involved in trade actions with the United States, a commonsense measure. We have to know that the interests of the American people and our country come first at all times, not just when it’s economically convenient or beneficial to a sitting President."
The bill would direct the President to disclose foreign income, assets, and liabilities when initiating or continuing trade or investment negotiations with a foreign country, taking or refraining to take certain trade enforcement actions, or granting or modifying preferential tariff treatment under statutory trade preference programs.
The bill is cosponsored in the Senate by: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
It is cosponsored in the House by: Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Sander Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John Larson (D-CT), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ron Kind (D-WI), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Danny Davis (D-IL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), David Cicilline (D-RI), Susan Davis (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Jim Himes (D-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Robert Scott (D-VA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA).