Farmers for Free Trade: Biden Administration Brings Hope for Change

The new Joe Biden administration will bring change in trade policy. However, Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade says doing so will take time.

“We certainly are hopeful. We don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up too high though. I think it’s going to be a process. We don’t expect that the Biden administration will come in and instantly lift the tariffs and everything will go back to pre-trade war. But we’re hopeful that over 2021 into 2022 we’ll see a gradual thaw of some of these relationships that got hammered pretty hard.”

Beyond trade war issues, Kuehl says Farmers for Free Trade is advocating for a return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership that President Obama had negotiated with 11 other Pacific rim countries, unfortunately, on President Trump’s second day in office, he pulled us out of that trade agreement. The 11 other countries that were part of the trade agreement, they continued on, and they’ve set up their own trade pact without us. So, we’re going to have to ask them to join it and it’s unclear whether President Biden would want to join on the terms that President Obama had negotiated or whether he’d want to reopen some issues.”

Other trade issues include BREXIT, with Kuehl says should provide trade opportunity for the United States with Great Britain. However, trade issues with the European Union are a hurdle.

“The EU, by drawing these lines in the sand, on things like precautionary principle and geographic indicators, the in essence export those standards around the world. So, then when we go to try to have a negotiation with another country, if they’ve already entered a trade agreement with the EU, they have a standard that they want to adopt and it makes it very difficult for us. So, it’s important that we make some changes on these issues.”

Other matters include enforcement issues for dairy trade with Canada under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and reforms to the World Trade Organization, while still being a member of the WTO.