On March 1, 2024, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published President Biden’s 2024 Trade Policy Agenda and 2023 Annual Report. This year’s agenda aims to further the cause of worker-centered trade policy, enhance the resilience of supply chains, and promote fair and sustainable trade practices. Below is a summary of the agenda and the report.

According to the publication, the USTR is executing the economic vision of the Biden-Harris administration through the negotiation of trade agreements with allies and partners. In June 2023, the United States and Taiwan initiated the U.S.-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative, marking a significant step with the signing of the first agreement under the initiative, aimed at fostering trade in various crucial sectors. Concurrently, the United States is deepening its economic ties with Kenya through the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership, focusing on sustainable growth and regional economic integration in Africa. In the broader Indo-Pacific region, the United States is making strides with the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Additionally, the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity is strengthening economic cooperation across the Western Hemisphere, with efforts to establish a Council on Trade and Competitiveness to guide trade matters.

The Biden-Harris administration is seeking to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure it remains a force for good, advocating for a system that supports fair, market-oriented competition and addresses the modern challenges of global trade. The United States sees an urgent need for the WTO to evolve in response to the rapidly changing global economy, especially in areas like workers’ rights, supply chain resilience, and climate change. The administration is actively working with other WTO members to implement reforms that enhance transparency, improve labor standards, advance gender equity, and ensure the dispute settlement system effectively resolves conflicts between members. Following significant progress at the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference, the United States is committed to continuing these efforts, aiming to make the WTO more responsive to the needs of society and capable of addressing unfair trade practices and non-market policies that undermine market-based competition.

The economic relationship between the United States and the European Union holds critical importance, underscored by shared goals such as economic growth, inequality reduction, and environmental stewardship. The geostrategic landscape, significantly affected by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the assertive behavior of autocratic regimes, has emphasized the necessity of a strong U.S.-EU partnership based on democratic values, human rights, and a commitment to maintaining a liberal, rules-based international order. This partnership is viewed by the Biden-Harris administration as essential for achieving a shared vision of prosperity and security. In response to the crisis in Ukraine, the United States has closely collaborated with the EU to implement targeted sanctions against Russia, aiming to hold it accountable for its actions. Additionally, this partnership has been pivotal in providing Ukraine with security assistance, humanitarian aid, and direct economic support, demonstrating a joint effort to support Ukraine during the ongoing conflict and to uphold the principles of democracy and international law.

The report addresses the complex and competitive U.S.-China trade relationship, emphasizing the need for fair competition against China’s pervasive non-market policies and practices. These practices not only distort the global marketplace through unfair, anticompetitive behavior but also undermine supply chain resilience, limit market access, and exploit labor and environmental standards. To counteract these challenges, the administration is leveraging domestic investments, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, to strengthen the U.S. economy and supply chain resilience. Additionally, there’s a focused effort on international collaboration to develop effective responses to China’s non-market policies, including the endorsement of a Joint Declaration by Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States to address economic coercion. The United States is also enforcing laws against imports produced with forced labor, notably through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. These actions, along with a comprehensive review of Section 301 tariffs in place against certain imports from China, illustrate a holistic approach to re-aligning the U.S.-China trade relationship, grounded in the principles of fair market competition and the defense of democratic values and economic security.

Overall, the Biden-Harris administration’s 2024 Trade Policy Agenda presents a forward-looking and multifaceted approach to trade policy. By balancing enforcement with engagement, competition with cooperation, and economic growth with social justice, the administration is navigating the complexities of global trade with an eye towards a more equitable and prosperous future.

A press release outlining other key highlights of the annual report is available here.