05 Feb 2021

To Build Back Better, Biden Needs to Fix Trade

Trump Has Left a Ticking Time Bomb at the WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) breathed a sigh of relief when former U.S. President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection in November. Over the past decade, the rules-based trading system has had to weather the two largest global economic crises since the 1930s, a pandemic, and a populist U.S. president seemingly intent on the system’s destruction. Also clearly relieved was the European Union, which quickly rolled out an 11-page action plan to reboot the transatlantic partnership. The document mentioned the WTO no less than eight times.

President Joe Biden has made clear that he sees trade as a “critical pillar” of his administration’s foreign policy. And much of the United States’ trade—with allies, but also with China—takes place under WTO rules. The organization therefore likely has a vital long-term role to play. But Biden will now find the trade organization mired in multiple...

continue reading: foreignaffairs.com