The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday started employee furloughs one day before the federal government shutdown continued into its 24th day, USTR announced on its website.
“USTR has implemented its lapse in appropriations contingency plan,” the agency stated. “Excepted personnel will ensure USTR continues to conduct operations, including trade negotiations and enforcement.”
Sent Dec. 21 to the Office of Management and Budget, the Executive Office of the President’s Contingency Plan for Shutdown Furlough states that USTR would furlough 191 of its 265 full-time equivalents (FTE) during a shutdown, leaving the staff with 79 FTE employees.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week told reporters that Chinese officials would likely visit Washington later this month for trade talks with the Trump administration and that he didn’t expect the government shutdown to have any impact, if it continues.
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