Washington, D.C. – Members of the Progressive Caucus sent a letter inviting U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to discuss their concerns with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

The letter was signed by Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), John Conyers (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Alma Adams (D-NC), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Maxine Waters (D-CA).

The full text of the letter is available below and a signed copy can be seen here.

The Honorable Michael Froman
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508                                        

Dear Ambassador Froman:

We are writing to invite you to speak at an upcoming Congressional Progressive Caucus member meeting about the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Members of the Progressive Caucus are eager to talk with you about concerns they have regarding the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus includes 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and is one of the largest and most active caucuses within Congress. The caucus meets on a weekly basis when the House of Representatives is in session, and we can accommodate a meeting time that works for your schedule.

Our members are interested in discussing your statements about the United States' trade surplus with its 20 Free Trade Agreement partners. Your comments on the matter, including some made at a March 2015 briefing with Members of Congress, contradict trade data from the U.S. International Trade Commission (U.S.I.T.C.). The data show the United States had a $177.5 billion goods trade deficit with its Free Trade Agreement partners in 2014. We appreciate your April 1, 2015 response to our March 19, 2015 letter about calculating trade balances. Members of our caucus would like the opportunity to discuss the matter with you directly.

As the U.S. Trade Representative, no one is more qualified to explain the administration's positions on vital trade issues. We request the opportunity to discuss the data discrepancy, transparency surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and other issues pertaining to free trade agreements at your earliest convenience. We look forward to sitting down with you soon.  


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