Sen. Scott drops holds on USTR nominees


   Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Wednesday released his holds on U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization nominee Dennis Shea and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative for Investment, Services, Labor, Environment, Africa, China, and the Western Hemisphere nominee C.J. Mahoney, according to a statement from Scott’s office.
   Scott blocked advancement of all trade nominees on Jan. 17, after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative failed to engage with him on trade issues affecting his constituency, he said at the time.
   Scott was one of many Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee to meet with President Trump Wednesday about trade issues.
   Trump last month ordered trade remedies pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 on large residential washer imports, as Samsung plans to start building a washer manufacturing plant in Newberry, S.C., this year.
   “Regarding Section 201, while I may not be on the same page as the White House, I do believe some progress is being made, and I appreciate their willingness to listen to my concerns,” Scott said in a statement.
   A Senate Finance Committee spokesperson said a committee vote to consider advancement of the nominations to the Senate floor hasn’t yet been scheduled.
   Scott also “made clear” during the Wednesday White House meeting that he expects to be “involved and informed” on the progress of NAFTA talks with regard to issues especially important to South Carolina, such as automotive rules of origin and financial services, he said.
   “As NAFTA renegotiations begin to heat up, it is absolutely essential that we have a clear and open dialogue between the Administration and Congress,” Scott said. “After I announced my hold on USTR nominees due to a lack of communication, [U.S. Trade Representative Robert] Lighthizer was at my office within 15 minutes, and we have since been in contact on these issues. After today’s meeting at the White House, I believe that my concerns regarding a lack of communications have been addressed.”

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