Equity and Trade

On his first day in office, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government(EO 13985). This Executive Order outlines a whole-of-Government mandate to advance equity for all Americans through a comprehensive approach to all Government practices, including: management; policymaking (including through regulation and guidance); procurement, contracting, and budgeting; delivery of benefits and services; and data collection, reporting, and use, to tangibly improve the lives of every person across the nation, in particular, those who have been underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has the primary responsibility for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, overseeing trade negotiations with other countries, combatting unfair trading practices, and enforcing U.S. trade laws.  As the Biden-Harris Administration develops and implements economic policy towards better, resilient, equitable outcomes, USTR designs and advances worker-centered, inclusive trade and investment policy that strengthens the nation’s competitiveness and expands the benefits of trade. 

Consistent with EO 13985, USTR assembled a lead Equity Team that includes administrative, policy, research, and legal professionals to complete different components of the agency’s equity assessment.  The Equity Team invited interested staff across the agency to join different subcommittees on targeted issues (e.g., gender policy and trade; equity and trade data, etc.).

To fulfill its mission, USTR’s resulting Equity Action Plan directs all agency components to consider the principles of equity in every aspect of their work.  This includes not only consistently raising and increasing equity awareness, but also the composition of stakeholder groups during consultations; incorporating equity into conversations with trading partners; identifying opportunities for United States leadership in advancing equity in trade; and expanding equity to all dimensions of trade policy. 

In ensuring that U.S. trade and investment policy benefits working people, advancing racial and gender equity will be embedded into the very foundation of the United States’ trade and investment policy goals and objectives.

Equity and Trade Strategic Resources:


Recent USTR Equity-Related Activities:

Additional White House Equity Resources