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Why 'phase one' China trade deal doesn't need congressional approval, unlike USMCA
US-China trade deal’s ‘phase 1’ has structural change, substantial purchases, enforcement: Robert Lighthizer
United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer discusses the historic ‘phase one’ of the U.S.-China trade deal that is expected to be signed on Wednesday.
The Trump administration will be able to breathe more easily after Wednesday's signing of phase one of the China trade deal, but President Trump has said his team will be back to work almost immediately on "phase two" of the deal.
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Unlike the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trump can sign the executive agreement and then avoid an extended congressional approval process. The administration is bypassing congressional involvement by describing the deal as a contract between the two countries, and not a trade agreement in the true sense of the phrase.
"We are not required to submit it to Congress," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified last February, citing Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 . "The president is using his power under 301, which has been delegated, and it's an executive agreement, which the Constitution gives the president the right to enter into."
The administration has briefed the Senate Finance Committee on negotiations as they progressed, a committee spokesperson told FOX Business.
"Congress delegated aspects of its constitutional authority to regulate foreign commerce to the President" through the Trade Act of 1974 and the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service wrote last September.
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