U.S. Trade Policy Recap: 2021

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

9 thoughts on “U.S. Trade Policy Recap: 2021”

  1. Katherine Thai, the United States Trade representative states “trade policy is about more than just empowering the biggest most resourced economic stakeholders it is about respecting and promoting the dignity of work and our workers” Her discussion shifts to the importance of commerce in a healthy global economy. Policymakers are striving to put the worker at the heart of their efforts. When new policies are implemented, workers will be on hand to teach and communicate their needs. It is a strategy they have devised to encourage the participants in the economy to ensure that workers’ rights are protected in order to increase the level of economic equality. As a result of their policies, they also benefit from the increased wealth. When it comes to agreements and rules, they set the bar high. Those agreements and guidelines are then enforced to ensure that the standards that they’ve set are meaningful. Organizing a race to the top enhances their democratic institutions across the world.

    1. three things are of interest to me:
      1) does “worker” include those well-paid non-manufacturing jobs in the US, such as sourcing managers and supply chain specialists?
      2) does “worker-centered trade policy” mean the Biden administration will intentionally protect the import-competing sectors?
      3) Does it imply that the Biden administration will be tougher on unfair trade practices like forced labor?

  2. I find the Biden administration’s trade policy to be an interesting one. I think Ambassador Katherine Tai’s work to end major long-running trade disputes is going to be incredibly beneficial to US companies and consumers. I also think that the idea of a “worker-centered trade policy” is a good one that could potentially do a lot of good for the US economy. However, I think there is definitely more to be considered. As Dr. Lu said, the definition of “worker” can be very loose so it’s not entirely clear which workers these trade policies will be setting out to protect.

  3. These 2 videos gave me insight on the Biden administration’s worker-centered trade policy. This policy will cause wages, workplace safety and retirement benefits to increase. To make this policy, the administration will be working with workers and using their input. The administration also reviewed the Mexico-Canada agreement in a free trade commission agreement and launched the US-EU trade and technology council. The administration’s goal of their trade policies is to rebuild alliances and partner with their allies. In my opinion, this sounds like a strong plan for a trade policy. I think it is important that they will be listening to the insights of workers as they are the ones that will be largely affected by the trade policy.

  4. When Katherine Tai explains that the key objectives of the trade policy are building a trade policy that places workers at the center, I feel good about it. This means that the administration is going to listen and learn from workers to implement policies such as higher wages, retirement benefit increases, and safer workplaces. The Administration also has a “race to the top” process where they offer incentives to the participants in the economy to protect workers’ rights, promote more economic equality, and to share in the prosperity that is generated through their policies. The one thing that holds me back from fully accepting this process is that there have to be incentives. I would like to ask the administration:

    We know that the Biden Administration is working towards a worker-first trade policy, but what kind of incentives are being offered to get others on board? Why do they need to incentivize their future plans? Are these plans fair for some workers but not for others?

  5. I have been following the Biden administration’s trade policy since the elections, but FASH455 allowed me to understand the policy on a larger scale. Biden’s “worker-centered trade policy” is very interesting and different from trade policies in the past. It’s important that when the fashion industry is being discussed politically, the lives of garment workers are being taken into consideration. Dr. Lu brings up a great point, garment workers should cover all workers in the industry. Whether they are physically working in factories, retail stores, or at a corporate level, all coworkers should be kept in mind. The fashion industry is one of the most underpaid, yet most profitable industries, and the workers are taking the brunt of it. While I think the policy can still be improved and evolved, I do think Biden’s team has the right idea and is leading the US in the right direction!

  6. I was not too educated on Biden’s administration’s trade policy, but these videos gave me a good idea of the efforts being made to help workers. Ambassador Katherine Tai discusses how the trade policy is worker-centered where they are empowered and there is emphasis brought on their rights. The policy promotes an increase in wages, an increase in retirement benefits, and the assurance of a safe and ethical workplace. I believe this is a great step for the US and its workers, but there should be further incentives to help other countries do the same. After constantly learning about the unsafe working conditions in other countries, especially after the pandemic, I believe there should be more effort into helping the garment factory workers in other countries. This also leads to the issue of forced labor; we learned in class about forced labor in Xinjiang, China, and how the US does not tolerate forced labor. In order to fully combat issues like this, not only should the US stop sourcing from places with forced labor, but they should also create incentives for other countries to do the same.

  7. These clips gave me an understanding of what the The Biden Administration’s trade policy is about. It is about respecting and promoting the work of their workers. The plan is to build an economy where everyone is in the deal. The trade policy will place workers in the center. Wages and retirement benefits will increase, along with safer workplaces. The plan is to create incentives in order to make good workplaces and standards for American workers. This policy has already to begun strengthening our democracies.

  8. After listening to the video where Ambassador Tai explains what a worker-centered trade policy is I have a deeper understanding of the Biden Administration’s trade policy. This trade policy focuses on respecting and promoting the dignity of our work and workers. This trade policy is centered around workers by hearing firsthand as the administration executes and implements trade policies. When workers are brought to the table wages go up, retirement benefits go up, and workplaces are made safer. Biden’s trade policy focuses on the benefits of workers to improve our overall work produced.

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