Tester: New Trade Representative Must Fight for Montana

Senator Supports Trump's U.S. Trade Representative, Urges Quick Action on Trade Conflicts

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester issued the following statement today after joining Republicans and Democrats to confirm President Trump’s U.S. Trade Representative Nominee, Robert Lighthizer:

“Montanans need a trade representative who will fight for them. I will work closely with Mr. Lighthizer and hold him accountable to quickly strike a new Softwood Lumber Agreement and resolve wheat grading disputes with Canada, increase access to new markets for Montana ag products, and protect American workers from losing jobs overseas.”

Tester met with Lighthizer in January to personally express the urgent need for a new Softwood Lumber Agreement with Canada. Canadian softwood lumber imports have surged since the agreement expired, which has caused U.S. softwood lumber prices to fall, even while demand has been growing.

Tester also pushed Lighthizer to end the unfair Canadian trade practice of downgrading American wheat when it crosses the border. This Canadian wheat grading policy is causing Montana farmers to lose millions annually and Tester authored a resolution urging the Trump Administration to determine whether Canada’s wheat grading practices adheres to existing trade agreements.