Trade Policy Under the Biden Administration
6 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 09, 2020
The past several years have been tumultuous ones for U.S. trade policy. After strident rhetoric from Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, his administration followed up with a wide range of aggressive actions. Congress, U.S. trading partners, businesses, and consumers have all been pushed to their limits by an administration that has taken U.S. policy in a protectionist and unilateral direction.
If Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the 2020 election, he will face the challenge of developing a coherent U.S. trade policy that provides stability and certainty. This paper presents an overview of the trade issues a President Joe Biden would likely face, with some suggestions on possible approaches his administration might take. It covers seven major topics, with some overlap among them:
Trade agreements: What should U.S. trade agreements say, and with whom should the United States negotiate them?
The World Trade Organization (WTO): How should a Biden administration deal with the many challenges faced by the multilateral trade institution that is the foundation of the trading system?
China: How should a Biden administration approach China’s controversial and difficult integration into the trading system?
The United States‐Mexico‐Canada Agreement (USMCA): Can some of the USMCA’s flaws be fixed during implementation?
Executive trade actions: How should a Biden administration use executive branch discretion over trade policy?
The role of Congress: Is it time to recalibrate the legislative/executive balance of power over trade?
Personnel: Who should be in charge of U.S. trade policy?
Keywords: trade, trade law, congress, executive trade actions, WTO, World Trade Organization, trade agreements, trade policy, Joe Biden, Biden
JEL Classification: F10, F1, F13, F16, F2, F20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation