USTR Requests ITC Investigation of Trade Distribution Effects on Workers and Underserved Communities

October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently asked the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to launch a two-part investigation of the distributional effects of goods and services trade and trade policy on workers and underserved communities. New research, data, and analytical tools will better inform U.S. trade policy and enable USTR to better develop an equitable, durable, worker-centered trade policy that contributes to our nation’s competitiveness in a 21st century global economy.

The Biden-Harris Administration has outlined its commitment to explore how trade policy can support an equitable economic recovery and opportunity for underserved communities from day one.  In addition to a central focus on labor and the environment, President’s 2021 Trade Agenda included racial equity, gender, and an emphasis on underserved communities for the first time in history.  Ambassador Tai consistently emphasizes that the benefits of trade must reach all communities, particularly those that have been historically overlooked.  Improved and informed data is central to addressing the challenge.  

The first part of USTR’s request for the ITC to conduct research, host roundtables and an academic symposium, and prepare a public report that catalogues information on the distributional effects of trade and trade policy on U.S. workers based by skill, wage and salary level, gender, race/ethnicity, age, and income level, especially as they affect under-represented and under-served communities.   The second part is for the ITC to expand its research and analysis capabilities so that all future probable economic effects advice includes estimates of the potential distributional effects on U.S. workers. 

The full text of the letter from Ambassador Tai can be found here.