Tai will have a discussion with Foreign Policy Editor in Chief Ravi Agrawal today to discuss the Biden administration’s trade agenda. Tai is expected to signal that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are not permanently removed from the Biden administration’s trade plans based on comments she made to Politico in an interview.
Tai continues to try to defend the Biden administration’s trade policy approach that has even come under criticism from some Democrats.
“In this time and place and in this current situation, the traditional approach to free trade agreements — which isn’t just that they do tariff cuts, but that they do tariff cuts on a fully comprehensive basis — isn’t what we need right now,” Tai said. “That neither puts workers at the center of our trade policy, nor does it solve the challenges that we have with respect to resilience and sustainability.”
Tai said she was “open minded” on FTA talks with the U.K, but said no decision has been made, commenting that “nothing is off the table.”
Tariffs on China
Regarding tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on China, Tai acknowledged she faces regular questions on what it will take to get tariffs removed and whether they will ever be removed.
“If you take a couple steps back and you look at the policy landscape, I think that better question is, what has China done to deserve our dialing back the tariffs,” said Tai.
Tai also said the tariffs need to be viewed as a tool and that they should be useful.
The continued go-slow approach of the Biden administration’s trade policy the first two years of Biden’s term remains unchanged. Not much there, there.