By Arthur Friedman

While Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the direction of U.S. trade policy isn’t likely to change much, although greater scrutiny of methods and intent can be expected.

That was the sentiment expressed by panelists during Wednesday’s Apparel Importers Trade & Transportation Conference in New York City, citing the generally bipartisan agreement over the need to convince China to reform its trade regime, the pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and Trump administration proposals to negotiate free trade pacts with the European Union (EU), Japan and the U.K.

“Last November we talked about how the president had been all talk and no action on taking protectionist measures,” said David Spooner, Washington counsel for the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, which organized Wednesday’s conference. “The dam has since burst since January.”

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