Public Hearing of the
US Trade Deficit Review Commission

Friday, December 10, 1999
10:00 am to 4:30 pm
216 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Given the recent upheaval in Seattle, the breakdown of talks at the WTO, and the flagging memontum for trade liberalization, the of the United States Trade Deficit Review Commission more than ever is once again on the national agenda. The Commission was established by Congress to study the nature, causes, and consequences of the United States trade deficit and report its findings to the President, the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Finance of the Senate. It is the latest in a long line of prestigious bi-partisan independent review commissions established by Congress to address issues of great national concern.

In light of the ongoing massive trade and current account deficits incurred by the United States, progress in improving U.S. access to foreign markets remains critically important. The disagreements in the United States made evident by the Seattle protests, as well as the collapse of the WTO Ministerial, challenge this goal. Rebuilding the consensus toward trade issues in the United States will be a principal contribution of the Commission. By analyzing the issues of trade deficits in a non-partisan manner with the input of the leading economists, industry leaders and other experts, the Commission will provide a reasoned answer to the fundamental question of how to address the U.S. trade deficit. The findings of the Commission, while not binding, will likely form the basis for congressional consensus building on trade policy as we enter the next century.

The Commission will have a technical briefing on Friday, December 10, 1999, from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. The technical briefing will include a range of viewpoints as to the nature, causes and solutions to the trade deficit. Presenters before the Commission will include Alan S. Blinder, Princeton University and Brokings Institution; Mr. Robert Barbera, Hoenig & Company; Dr. Wynne Godley of the Jerome Levy Insitute of Bard College; Dr. Robert Lawrence, Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers; Paula Stern, President of The Stern Group; The Honorable Patrick A. Mulloy, Assistant Secretary of Commerce; Dr. Richard Cooper, Harvard University; Dr. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and Government; Dr. Peter Morici, The Economic Strategy Institute and the Univesity of Maryland; Dr. Anwar M. Shaikh, New School University.