Re: “On a crowded agenda, Biden must make room for trade” [Dec. 4, Boeing & Aerospace]:
Jon Talton was right in his assertion that globalization wasn’t going away. What he got wrong is that pursuing the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t do workers any favors. Biden’s investments in U.S. infrastructure and workers are desperately needed, but rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership will make the workers Biden seeks to help more vulnerable.
If the Biden administration pursues the same trade policies as the Obama administration, it will sow distrust with the civil-society partners Biden needs to support his agenda. President-elect Biden should hold to his initial moratorium on signing new trade deals, make those needed investments in the U.S. and appoint a U.S. trade representative who will rebuild the trust of civil-society groups that have been hurt by trade policies. In the long-run, he should create trade relationships that create a race to the top for workers around the world and gut provisions in our trade policies that would stop us from addressing climate change.
Rejoining the TPP would start a Biden administration off on the wrong foot and leave the door open for the next Trumpian nationalist to win in 2024. Instead, the Biden administration should pursue a forward-looking, worker friendly vision for trade policies.
Hillary Haden, Kirkland, executive director, Washington Fair Trade Coalition