(Bloomberg) – The head of America’s largest business lobbying group has issued a scathing critique of President Joe Biden’s trade policy, saying the administration is “devoured by caution and internal reviews.”
The administration “has yet to reap any fruit” as talks for free trade deals with the United Kingdom and Kenya began under President Donald Trump but stalled under Biden, the administration said on Tuesday. President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark. The United States should also provide tariff relief on imports inherited from Trump that serve as a tax on Americans, Clark said.
The Biden administration’s plan to strengthen economic ties with Asia — known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF — remains “a long way off” as a replacement for Trump’s abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership, Clark said. The current White House has made it clear that it has no intention of joining a successor deal.
U.S. officials are expected to discuss IPEF when Biden visits the region this month; they also said it would not include negotiating tariff reductions.
“America, in many ways, is standing still on new trade deals,” Clark said during a virtual conference hosted by the chamber. “And if you stand still on the trade, you fall behind.”
“The American business community is moving forward, even if our government is not,” she added.
Clark’s appearance was attended by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who co-leads the administration’s work on the Indo-Pacific framework. Raimondo promoted the initiative, saying it will help identify opportunities for collaboration on common priorities such as infrastructure investment, semiconductors, research and development, and artificial intelligence and privacy standards. .
Read more: Biden’s trade plans slammed by senators as lacking ambition
The Biden administration has also drawn criticism from U.S. senators from both sides, who in a recent hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai criticized the lack of ambition to negotiate new deals and counter China in Asia.
Tai repeatedly stressed that the administration pursues a “worker-centric” policy and called the free trade pacts a “very 20th-century tool” that has its place, but needs to be updated to reflect. current realities.
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