Trade presents an opportunity for the administration and Congress to work together, even in a highly polarized and partisan environment.
Bipartisan support remains for expired trade programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs), as well as efforts to strengthen U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) laws.
Republicans will prioritize new trade agreements and opening new markets while the Biden administration will be looking to implement its “worker-centric” trade approach.
Most Republicans—and some Democrats—will want to jumpstart free trade negotiations to provide U.S. producers greater global market access after no new trade agreements were signed during the Biden administration’s first two years in office. But they will face pressures from both the right (Trump’s base) and the left (labor unions/environmentalists) skeptical of any trade liberalization. For their part, Democrats will be focused on reauthorization of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).
House Republicans will likely:
- Intensify efforts to reauthorize the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to drive new trade agreements and open new markets.
- Remain focused on China as the driver of an aggressive U.S. trade policy.
- Continue efforts around greater scrutiny of outbound U.S. investments.
- Attempt to provide relief to U.S. businesses impacted by tariffs, such as through a more robust Section 301 exclusion process.
- Engage in bipartisan efforts to discourage discriminatory digital services taxes (DSTs) in the EU and elsewhere through the use of US trade remedies.
- Apply increased pressure on the administration to expand the scope of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to include market access.