October 26, 2021

Warren, Brown Statement on USTR’s Call for USITC Investigation of Unequal Impacts of Trade on Workers

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) released the following statement in response to the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) request that the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) launch an investigation of the unequal impacts of trade and trade policy on American workers, especially underrepresented and underserved communities. 

USTR requested that USITC prepare a public report that reviews information on these unequal impacts on workers, and expand its research and analysis capabilities so that all future trade impact work includes this type of equity analysis. USTR is the lead federal agency for trade policy and negotiation. USITC is a separate federal agency that provides analysis of international trade issues to the President and the Congress. 

USTR’s request follows a letter from Senators Warren, Brown, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) urging the USITC to improve its analysis of trade deals. The lawmakers’ request followed a USITC June 2021 report that used unrealistic models of the U.S. labor market and ignored how trade affects workers differently based on their region, race, and other characteristics.

“We are glad USTR is following through on its commitment to pursuing a trade policy that centers workers, environmental protection, and racial equity and is calling on the USITC to investigate the effects of trade on workers and underserved communities. Instead of working for American workers and families, U.S. trade policy has worked very well for giant corporations for far too long. It’s time we assess the impacts of trade policy on all workers and on the economy as a whole so that we can negotiate better trade agreements going forward,” Senators Warren and Brown said in a joint statement

Senator Warren has been fighting for a more labor-centric trade policy that demands focus on negative impacts that trade deals can have on workers, and elevating the voices of workers. In 2021 at a Finance hearing, Senator Warren urged then-U.S. Trade Representative Nominee Katherine Tai to commit to ensuring trade advisory committees have more representatives from labor, consumer, environmental groups than corporations.