June 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified in the Senate Tuesday, where he gave details on the Trump administration's trade policy and faced questioning about the enduring trade conflict with China.
Lighthizer appeared before the Senate finance committee to discuss the impact tariffs have had on U.S. workers and the economy. Talks between Washington and Beijing to settle the feud broke down last month, leading some to speculate more tariffs will come.
"As a result of this mismanagement on trade, the American people are faced with the prospect that everyday life in this country will become more expensive and less secure," Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said.
Trump's threats to tax foreign imports has led to a bipartisan effort to limit his tariff authority, led by Senate finance committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. But he said he wants a veto-proof majority before he proposes such a bill.
Tuesday, Grassley said American importers and consumers are the ones who pay for the tariffs, to the tune of $22 billion.
"I do not agree that tariffs should be the tool we use in every instance to achieve our trade policy goals," he said. "I fear that continuing to use tariffs in this way will undermine our credibility with our current and potential trading partners, and under the benefits of our historic tax reform."
Senators also discussed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trump's proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Lighthizer has worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to resolve environmental, labor and other concerns before it comes to Congress for a vote. He said they've made progress.
"I am aware of specific areas where members have ideas to strengthen the agreement, and we are having constructive discussions on how to make improvements," Lighthizer told the panel. "I continue to believe that the USMCA will win broad support in Congress, as it is designed to do."
Details of the trade agreement are still unknown.
In addition to targeting China and Mexico, Trump has also threatened to tariffs on vehicles and parts from Japan and the European Union.
On Wednesday, Lighthizer will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee.