FACT SHEET: In Year 2, Ambassador Katherine Tai and USTR Continued to Execute President Biden’s Vision for Worker-Centered Trade Policy

WASHINGTON – Ambassador Tai continues to execute President Biden’s vision of a new, worker-centered approach to trade policy that grows the economy from the bottom up and the middle out as she approaches the two-year anniversary as the 19th United States Trade Representative on March 18, 2023.

In 2022, Ambassador Tai and USTR delivered impressive results:

  • Launched innovative trade initiatives with key partners and allies, including those in the Indo-Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom;
  • Expanded market access for our agricultural producers to bring more U.S. products to customers around the world;
  • Strongly enforced the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement by using its tools to defend workers’ rights and ensure our partners follow through on their commitments;
  • Continued to fulfill President Biden’s pledge to rebuild our alliances throughout Europe; and
  • Engaged a broad spectrum of workers and stakeholders across the United States as we advance a worker-centered trade policy.

Below are more details on the accomplishments and wins from Ambassador Tai’s first two years in office.
AN INNOVATIVE TRADE FRAMEWORK WITH THE INDO-PACIFIC: As part of Ambassador Tai’s work to strengthen ties with Indo-Pacific partners, USTR and the Department of Commerce are negotiating the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to create durable, resilient, and inclusive prosperity.  This framework is bringing together 13 countries from throughout the region that, combined with the United States, represent 40% of global GDP.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a new approach that will tackle 21st century challenges, particularly those exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  U.S. officials conducted the first negotiating round in Australia last year with a focus on four areas: trade facilitation, agriculture, services domestic regulation, and transparency and good regulatory practices.  A second negotiating round is currently underway in Bali, Indonesia.
Additional negotiating rounds with IPEF partners covering other chapters will occur throughout 2023.
EXPANDED MARKET ACCESS FOR U.S. FARMERS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS: Ambassador Tai and USTR’s success in strengthening our bilateral trade relationships helped unlock economic opportunity for America’s agriculture industry, including greater market access for our farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food manufacturers.  The Biden Administration:

  • Agreed to increased opportunities for U.S. beef exports to Pakistan during the recent United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council meeting, with an operationalized agreement expected later this year;
  • Secured a 70% cut in tariffs on U.S. pecan exports into India;
  • Removed longstanding trade barriers to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products into India;
  • Secured a win in the first dispute settlement panel over Canadian dairy restrictions;
  • Reopened U.S. exports of shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and scallops, to the European Union after a 10-year hiatus;
  • Reached a revised beef safeguard mechanism under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement that will lead to increased exports of high-quality U.S. beef to Japan; and
  • Expanded access for U.S. potatoes throughout Mexico, which could provide an annual market potential of $250 million by 2027.

PLACING WORKERS AT THE CENTER OF TRADE POLICY: Advancing a worker-centered trade policy means respecting the rights of workers and eradicating forced labor in global supply chains.
Using USMCA Tools to Defend Workers’ Rights
By enforcing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and defending the rights of workers and producers – including those beyond our borders – Ambassador Tai is helping workers and producers here at home by creating a global race to the top in trade policy.  USTR will continue to enforce the agreement and work with Canada and Mexico to ensure that the agreement lives up to its potential. 
USTR invoked the USMCA’S Rapid Response Mechanism on seven occasions to protect workers’ rights, including most recently at a Unique Fabricating facility in Santiago de Querétaro, State of Querétaro.
Uniting Our Allies to Eradicate Forced Labor
Ambassador Tai believes in respecting the rights of workers and holding any country, economy, or business that profits by using forced labor accountable.

  • In 2022, USTR announced the development of a focused trade strategy to combat forced labor. 
  • USTR, as a member of the Biden Administration’s Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, helped launch the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act enforcement strategy to prohibit the importation of goods made partially or wholly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.
  • The United States and Japan agreed to launch a task force to promote human rights and international labor standards in supply chains under the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade.
  • Trade and labor ministers from the United States, Japan, and the European Union released a joint statement following the publication of the International Labor Organization’s Global Forced Labor Estimates to re-affirm their shared commitment to eradicate this malicious practice.

ENDING TRADE DISPUTES AND LAUNCHING INNOVATIVE FRAMEWORKS TO STRENGTHEN TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS: In 2021, Ambassador Tai reached agreements with the European Union and United Kingdom that will protect thousands of aviation jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and enable cooperation to address distortive non-market practices that undermine the sector.  
Along with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Ambassador Tai also helped negotiate a deal with the European Union to allow the resumption of duty-free European steel and aluminum imports into the United States.  These actions paved the way for increased collaboration with our transatlantic partners in several areas in 2022, including:
A Global Steel and Aluminum Arrangement to Address Pressing Climate Issues

  • Ambassador Tai and our EU partners are negotiating the world’s first carbon-based sectoral arrangement on steel and aluminum trade that will protect important American industries, create jobs, and help combat climate change.
  • U.S and EU officials continue to share and discuss proposals on this arrangement – with an aim to conclude negotiations in 2023.

Continued Cooperation through the Trade and Technology Council

  • In December 2022, Ambassador Tai, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Commerce Secretary Raimondo welcomed European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager to College Park, Maryland for the third ministerial meeting of the Trade and Technology Council.
  • The TTC co-chairs discussed emerging technological and trade issues, including those posed by Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war in Ukraine.
  • U.S. and EU officials also discussed ongoing implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and pledged to work together in a constructive manner.

Found Creative Solutions to the 17-Year Large Civil Aircraft Dispute

  • In 2021, Ambassador Tai reached agreements with the EU and United Kingdom that will protect thousands of aviation jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and enable cooperation to address distortive non-market practices that undermine the sector.

Established Trade Dialogue with the United Kingdom

  • In spring 2022, Ambassador Tai and United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted two meetings – one in Baltimore, Maryland and one in Aberdeen, Scotland – under the U.S.-UK Dialogue on the Future of Atlantic Trade. 
  • This initiative is exploring how the U.S. and the U.K. can collaborate to advance mutual international trade priorities rooted in our shared values, while promoting innovation and inclusive economic growth for workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.

GROUNDBREAKING TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH TAIWAN: Under Ambassador Tai’s leadership, USTR launched the U.S.-Taiwan 21st Century Trade Initiative, which will deepen our longstanding economic and trade ties with Taiwan.  
After agreeing to an ambitious mandate in August 2022, the United States and Taiwan, under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), quickly commenced negotiations covering customs and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anticorruption, and small- and medium- enterprises.  
Negotiations on the rest of the trade initiative will continue in 2023.
African Leaders Summit and AGOA

  • In December 2022, Ambassador Tai and Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi hosted trade ministers from sub-Saharan Africa for the first in-person African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial in three years during the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C.
  • Enacted in 2000, AGOA is a fundamental pillar of U.S. trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa and provides eligible countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market, which in turn drives investment, creates good-paying jobs, and supports regional integration.
  • Ambassador Tai and her counterparts discussed how to strengthen and modernize AGOA to deliver concrete benefits for the African people.

Strengthening Ties with AfCFTA

  • During the 2022 U.S.-Africa Business Forum, Ambassador Tai and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretary General Wamkele Mene signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate greater cooperation on trade and investment between the United States and the region.
  • This agreement will establish annual high-level dialogues between U.S. and AfCFTA Secretariat officials, as well as quarterly working group meetings, to exchange information on best practices, receive stakeholder input, and have an open dialogue to enhance the relationship between the United States, the AfCFTA Secretariat, and AfCFTA member states.

Stronger Trade Relations with Kenya

  • In July 2022, Ambassador Tai launched the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. 
  • Through this partnership, the United States and Kenya will pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas with a view to increasing investment; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses; and supporting African regional economic integration. 
  • In September 2022, Ambassador Tai led the Presidential Delegation to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the inauguration of President William Samoei Arap Ruto.  In her meeting with President Ruto, Ambassador Tai expressed the United States’ hope for enhanced two-way trade and investment with Kenya in the years ahead.
  • The Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership held conceptual discussions in Washington, D.C. in February 2023 and negotiations will continue throughout the year.

ADVANCING A NEW TRADE ARRANGEMENT WITH WESTERN HEMISPHERE ECONOMIES: In January 2023, Ambassador Tai and Secretary of State Blinken convened representatives from 11 Western Hemisphere countries to discuss the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity.  Launched in June 2022, this initiative will drive the hemisphere’s economic growth, tackle pressing challenges, and spur greater economic cooperation throughout the region.
RE-ENGAGING AT THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION ON A SHARED GLOBAL TRADE AGENDA: Ambassador Tai and her team’s intense behind-the-scenes work helped produce the most successful WTO Ministerial Conference in nine years with groundbreaking outcomes, including:

  • The first-ever multilateral trade agreement to prohibit subsidies for those engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing;
  • A ministerial decision to not impose customs duties on electronic transmissions, while examining important issues related to digital trade; and
  • An outcome on an intellectual property response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will address a major global challenge while being responsive to needs of individual Members.

EXPANDING THE TABLE AND CREATING EQUITABLE TRADE POLICY: Ambassador Tai continues to advance equity in trade policy that operates at the intersection of race/ ethnicity, gender, age, education, income, disability, orientation, region, and underserved communities. 
In doing so, Ambassador Tai is ensuring that individuals and communities that have been historically excluded from the benefits of trade can now benefit:

  • Ambassador Tai requested that the independent U.S. International Trade Commission launch an unprecedented investigation on the distributional effects of trade and trade policy on workers.  In 2022, after extensive consultations with stakeholders, academics, and workers, the ITC reported that communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by global trade and economic shocks.
  • The President’s Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report now includes strategic objectives and actions that advance racial and gender equity in trade policy.

An expansive revision of USTR’s Strategic Plan now includes goals, strategies, and objectives to develop equitable trade policy and to apply DEIA practices within the agency’s management.