U.S. trade representative says trade negotiations to continue despite shutdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday said operations including trade negotiations and enforcement will continue despite a partial government shutdown. “USTR has implemented its lapse in appropriations contingency plan,” the agency said in a statement on its website. “Excepted personnel will ensure USTR continues to conduct operations, including trade negotiations and enforcement.” A partial federal government shutdown entered its 24th day on Monday over President Donald Trump’s demand that a spending bill to fully fund the government include $5.7 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico as he promised during his campaign. Democrats have refused further negotiations until the government is reopened. The United States has initiated trade talks over the past year with China, the European Union and others. U.S. officials went to Beijing last week and discussions are to resume in Washington sometime this month.

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