President Biden has announced a trade agenda aimed at COVID-19 recovery, supporting American agriculture, strengthening partnerships, and more.

The new trade agenda arrived March 1 via the United States Trade Representative, offering the clearest picture yet of Biden’s commerce objectives. In a 308-page report, the new administration lays out in detail its plan for economic development and trade policy. Here are a few highlights from the report.

COVID-19 Recovery

Unsurprisingly, coronavirus recovery efforts sit at the top of the agenda. Biden had previously ordered a review of American supply chains amid the vaccine rollout. Now, the administration is seeking to shore up and accelerate distribution efforts by bolstering domestic manufacturing. The COVID-19 Recovery objective also includes a continued push to provide readily available Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental policy and standards are high priorities for the Biden trade agenda. The administration hopes to use trade policy to progress its ambitious environmental and climate goals. Its overarching plan includes dramatically reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and net-zero global emissions by 2050. The agenda release points to development and commerce around “climate-related technology” and multilateral trade partnerships as primary vehicles for this climate agenda.

Supporting U.S. Labor Force

Biden’s trade agenda emphasizes support for workers stateside and abroad. Workforce issues like wage growth and labor standards are to take center stage in economic partnerships and trade agreements. The administration states its objectives clearly.

“Workers will have a seat at the table as the Biden Administration develops new trade policies that promote equitable economic growth by including strong, enforceable labor standards in trade agreements that protect workers’ rights and increase economic security,” the United States Trade Representative statement says.

Tracking Effects of Economic Policy on Diverse Communities

The trade agenda sets a priority to address economic concerns of minorities. The administration suggests data collection to better understand the implications of trade policy for underserved communities.

“Through thoughtful, sustained, engagement and innovative data collection and sharing, the Biden Administration will seek to better understand the projected impact of proposed trade policies on communities of color and will consider those impacts before pursuing such policies. ”

Comprehensive China Strategy

Pointing to what it calls “coercive and unfair economic trade practices,” the Biden administration trade agenda sets a sharp tone with China. The administration sets clear objectives for its trade relationship with China.

  • Ongoing Comprehensive Review of U.S. Trade Policy with China
  • Pursuing Strong Enforcement of Trade Obligations
  • Working with Allies to Address “Market Distortions Created by Industrial Overcapacity”
  • Address Human Rights and Forced Work Issues

Supporting American Agriculture

Food producers are a central focus to the Biden administration trade agenda. The new administration says it seeks to stabilize and support domestic agriculture with

“The trade agenda will seek to expand global market opportunities for American farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers, and fishers and will defend our producers by enforcing global agricultural trade rules.”

“Equitable” Trade Policy and Growth

The administration lays out goals for what it calls “equitable” economic development.

  • Reduce Wage Gaps
  • Increase Worker Unionization
  • Promote Safe Workplaces
  • Economic Empowerment of Women and Underrepresented Communities

Keep Up on Trade Policy News with The Scarbrough Group

The agenda is set. Now, it’s up to the Biden administration to develop concrete trade policy from these priorities. As laws, agreements, and regulations emerge, The Scarbrough Group will be ready to share information and insight. Our experts at Scarbrough International can shed light on the implications of the administration’s agenda and policy developments. Contact us for more.