Joe Biden & Trade – What Can Industry Expect from the New Administration?

Trump’s Trade Legacy

To fully understand the Biden administration’s trade priorities, it’s essential to understand Trump’s U.S. trade actions and the trade environment Biden will inherit. Trump made trade policy a center-stage issue. The administration enacted policies that counter several decades of neoliberal trade policies. The administration also questioned fundamental tenets of the global trading system and the function and purpose of the World Trade Organization. Furthermore, Trump followed through on many trade-related campaign promises by utilizing an array of tools.

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White House Releases National Strategy for Promoting and Protecting Critical Technologies

White House Releases Critical Technologies Report

Last month, the White House released a landmark report titled the “National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies.” The report outlines how the United States will promote and protect our competitive edge in fields such as artificial intelligence, energy, quantum information science, communication and networking technologies, semiconductors, military, and space technologies.

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USTR Targets Vietnam in New 301 Investigations – Submit Request to Testify by Dec. 10

 USTR’s Tougher Stance on Vietnam

 The Trump administration has begun to exercise a tougher stance against Vietnam. The United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated two Section 301 investigations against the Southeast Asian country on October 2, 2020. The focus of the two investigations are Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to (1) the valuation of its currency, and (2) Vietnam’s importation and use of illegal timber. The news of USTR’s launch of these dual investigations came days before the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest trade data release – which indicated that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with Vietnam is at record levels, registering at $42.7 billion in the 8 months of data available for 2020. This skyrocketing trade deficit is relevant to U.S. trade policy towards Vietnam because one of President Trump’s key economic pledges was to lower the U.S. trade deficit with trading partners. A well-documented pattern of transshipment of goods from China through Vietnam to avoid U.S. Section 301 duties towards China could also explain Vietnam being targeted.

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