Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Nomination of USTR-Designee Portman
The Senate Finance Committee today held a hearing on the nomination of U.S. Trade Representative-designee Congressman Robert Portman (R-OH). Much of the hearing focused on U.S. trade policy with China and Portman told the members of the Finance Committee that the U.S. needs "a tougher approach" to China. He indicated that once he is confirmed he will order a "top to bottom review" of the various trade complaints against China and would make a trip to China to deliver his message to the Government of China.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) indicated that his committee will vote on Portman's nomination next week. However, as previously reported in International Trade Law News, Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) has placed a procedural hold on the vote until until the Senate leadership schedules a vote on S. 593, the Stopping Overseas Subsidies (SOS) Act. S. 593 would apply the countervailing duty laws to nonmarket economy countries, including China. Senator Voinovich (R-OH), a co-sponsor of S. 593, is trying to convince Senator Bayh that it is not in the best interests of their cause to block Portman's confirmation.
Representative Portman's prepared testimony presented at today's hearing can be found at the following link: finance.senate.gov/hearings/testimony/2005test/rptest042105.pdf.