U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today issued the following statement urging United States Trade Representative Michael Froman to stop providing Congress with trade data that distorts exports and hides the true nature of our nation's trade deficits.
"I am calling on Ambassador Froman to stop sending to Congress figures on our trade deficit that include the re-export data. USTR's use of re-export data hides the dismal reality of failed trade policies," said Rep. Mark Pocan. "USTR should instead use data from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), which provides more accurate information by removing re-exports, and paints a more realistic picture of our trade imbalance."
"By providing re-export data which incorrectly inflates the number of actual exports, USTR misleads Members of Congress and the public about the true costs of our trade agreements on jobs and manufacturing," Rep. Mark Pocan said. "If USTR insists on providing lawmakers with such skewed information, it will only jeopardize the credibility of our country's trade negotiations and USTR with Members of Congress."
USTR currently provides export data obtained from the Census Bureau that fails to reflect the negative impact on the U.S. trade deficit and domestic manufacturing and production jobs. This data recognizes "re-exports", or goods that are imported from a foreign country then immediately exported to another, as an authentic American export. Labeling these products as exports downplays the detrimental impact of trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA on the U.S. trade deficit, and fails to present the public and their Representatives in Congress with accurate data on the impact future trade agreements will have on domestic jobs and the economy.