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1) Fact Sheet: USTR Releases 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report

Ambassador Katherine Tai and the Office of the United States Trade Representative today delivered President Biden’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report to Congress. This report details USTR’s work to implement the Biden Administration’s trade priorities and advance a worker-centered trade policy. . . .

Key elements of the 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report include:

Standing up for Workers’ Rights: The Biden Administration’s worker-centered trade policy reflects our commitment to use our trade agreements, tools, and relationships to empower workers. We are working with our trading partners to support workers’ rights and stop the global race to the bottom. We will seek to establish new, high-standard commitments on labor rights under our current and new frameworks for trade. Strengthening labor rights will benefit American workers, as well as workers all over the world.

Accelerating Decarbonization and Promoting Sustainable Environmental Practices: Combating the climate crisis and promoting sustainable environmental practices are top priorities for the Biden Administration. For many years, trade has been seen as exacerbating these challenges. The same dynamic that has created a race to the bottom with respect to labor rights exists with respect to environmental protection.

Supporting U.S. Agriculture: The Biden Administration understands the importance of trade to U.S. farmers, ranchers, fishers, and food manufacturers. From 2000 to 2020, annual U.S. agricultural exports grew from $58 billion to $155 billion. Through our commitment to creating sustainable economic growth and establishing a level playing field, USTR is preserving and building on those gains. The Biden Administration is also focused on creating new opportunities for American agriculture, including using our existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) to support U.S. agriculture exports.

Bolstering Supply Chain Resiliency: Bolstering supply chain resiliency is a critical component of the Biden Administration’s efforts to advance our worker-centered trade policy and create sustainable economic growth. Supply chains are integral to the global trading system, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated disruption to the global economy have highlighted major vulnerabilities in our existing supply chains, as well as underscored the importance of promoting supply chain resiliency.

To begin addressing these challenges, President Biden signed Executive Order 14017 (America’s Supply Chains) last year, directing a whole-of-government approach to assess vulnerabilities in, and strengthen the resilience of, critical U.S. supply chains. Pursuant to the Executive Order, the Biden Administration conducted a 100-day review for four priority product areas: semiconductors, large capacity batteries, critical minerals and materials, and pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Following the recommendations that emerged from the 100-day reports, the Biden Administration established an interagency Supply Chain Trade Task Force led by USTR. This task force is directed to identify both unfair foreign trade practices that have eroded U.S. critical supply chains and opportunities to use U.S. trade agreements and future trade agreements to strengthen the collective supply chain resilience of the United States and our trade partners.

Combatting the COVID-19 Pandemic: Consistent with our trade policy agenda that recognizes that people are the core of our economy, USTR is working closely with a number of agencies to ensure that trade rules support, and do not impede, the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden Administration is taking a whole-of-government approach to address the pandemic, at home and abroad. These efforts include . . . .

Re-Aligning the U.S.-China Trade Relationship: The U.S.-China economic and trade relationship is one of profound consequence. As the two largest economies in the world, the bilateral relationship affects not just the two participants, but the entire globe.

The Biden Administration acknowledges that this relationship is complex and competitive. With respect to trade, we can be both partners and competitors, but any competition must be fair. China’s approach to trade drives frictions in many of China’s trade relationships – not just ours. China, as a large, non-market economy, is uniquely able to engage in unfair, anticompetitive practices, which harm workers and businesses in the United States and in other countries, including some of our closest allies and partners. By unduly concentrating production of certain goods in China, these non-market practices also undermine supply chain resilience and harm consumers that, in the long run, are deprived of the innovation and choice that fair competition would produce.

Engaging with Key Trading Partners and Multilateral Institutions: Growing the middle glass, redressing inequality, and incentivizing climate and environmental action are goals we share with many of our trading partners. Working with others to craft trade policies that promote these goals reflects the American leadership that many of our trading partners are seeking. The Biden Administration is meeting the challenge.

Using trade policy as a tool to achieve these shared goals, USTR is stepping up its engagement with partners, allies, multilateral institutions and organizations. These actors and institutions play a pivotal role in cultivating any meaningful outcomes to address shared concerns. But to achieve a more resilient and just global economy, reform is necessary. The policies of the past contributed to contemporary challenges; we need different policies to achieve a different outcome.

Promoting Confidence in Trade Policy Through Enforcement: The Biden Administration is committed to vigorously enforcing our trade agreements as a critical element of pushing a global race to the top. Enforcement is a key component of our worker-centered trade policy agenda. . . .

Promoting Equitable, Inclusive, and Durable Trade Policy and Expanding Stakeholder Engagement: Trade policy can play a critical role in advancing equitable and resilient economic growth for underserved and marginalized communities, here in the United States and with trading partners who share concerns about rising inequality. . . .

The full 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report can be viewed at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2022%20Trade%20Policy%20Agenda%20and%202021%20Annual%20Report.pdf  

Press release: https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2022/march/ustr-releases-2022-presidents-trade-policy-agenda-and-2021-annual-report

2) House Ways and Means Committee: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S 2022 TRADE POLICY AGENDA

United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai -- Testimony

3) USTR Releases 2022 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (news release)

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released the 2022 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report), providing a comprehensive review of significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and U.S. electronic commerce in key export markets for the United States.

“The President’s Trade Agenda detailed a bold vision for supporting America’s working families and businesses by promoting fair competition and inclusive economic growth,” said Ambassador Tai.  “The 2022 NTE Report identifies a range of important challenges and priorities to guide the Biden Administration’s effort to craft trade policy that reflects our country’s values and builds a better America.”

Published annually since 1985, the NTE Report covers significant foreign trade barriers in over 64 markets which together account for 99 percent of U.S. goods trade and 85 percent of U.S. services trade.

The NTE Report covers significant trade barriers in areas, including:  (1) import policies; (2) technical barriers to trade; (3) sanitary and phytosanitary measures; (4) government procurement; (5) intellectual property protection; (6) services barriers; (7) barriers to digital trade and electronic commerce; (8) investment barriers; (9) subsidies, especially export subsidies; (10) competition; (11) state-owned enterprises; (12) labor; (13) environment; among others.

Examples of these significant obstacles include:

Agricultural Trade Barriers:  The 2022 NTE Report highlights a number of cross-cutting barriers affecting U.S. agricultural trade, including . . . . USTR will continue to engage foreign governments on barriers that hamper the ability of U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors to access markets worldwide.

Digital Trade Barriers:  The 2022 NTE Report details restrictive data policies in China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Korea, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam, among other countries.  For example . . . . USTR will continue to engage foreign governments on policies that significantly affect U.S. exporters of digital products and services and undermine U.S. manufacturers’ and service suppliers’ ability to move data across borders.

Industrial Policies:  China’s state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade drives its pursuit of industrial policies that provide unfair competitive advantages to Chinese companies and actively seeks to displace foreign competitors and technologies in order to dominate domestic and global markets. China deploys numerous types of interventionist and discriminatory measures and actions in pursuit of its industrial policies, which can heavily distort and disrupt markets and often lead to the creation of severe and persistent excess capacity, as evidenced by the ongoing situations in steel, aluminum, and solar, among others. Newer targets for China’s industrial policies include numerous industries in advanced manufacturing, high-technology, and other key economic sectors where China is setting and pursuing production and market share objectives that can only be achieved through non-market means.  USTR is determined to pursue all available domestic trade tools to protect the competitiveness of U.S. workers and businesses and to work closely with like-minded trading partners on the shared challenges posed by China’s harmful practices.

Labor:  The U.S. Government has identified concerns related to labor rights in several countries, including with respect to . . . .
Technical Barriers to Trade:  Technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures are a legitimate form of regulation, but in some cases can be used to unnecessarily restrict trade or curb the movement of innovative products risk lost opportunities to capitalize on America’s leadership in science and high-technology manufacturing, services, and agriculture.  For example . . . .

The NTE also highlights progress on removing barriers by continuing to work with our trade partners.  For example . . . .

You can view the report at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2022%20National%20Trade%20Estimate%20Report%20on%20Foreign%20Trade%20Barriers.pdf

The release of the 2022 NTE Report follows the March 1, 2022 release of the 2022 President’s Trade Agenda and 2021 Annual Report.  USTR plans to release its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights by April 30, 2022.

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