Prospects for US trade policy

What are the prospects for US trade policy, one year out from the presidential elections?

Research event, Roundtable Invitation only
31 October 2023 — 2:00PM TO 3:15PM
Chatham House and Online

The tone may have softened, but President Biden has continued with more of Donald Trump’s approach to trade policy than the US’s partners would like.

The US has continued to hamstring the WTO by blocking appointments to the dispute settlement system’s appellate body, tightened controls on technology exports to China, pressuring its allies to join in, and cited national security concerns in protecting America’s steel industry.

Despite his talk of building alliances of like-minded countries to pursue economic security, Biden’s industrial policy, including huge subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act, have raised accusations of unfairly favouring US industry and breaking WTO rules.

If Trump or another MAGA Republican is elected president next year, America’s trading partners could find US trade policy becoming even more protectionist and unilateral.

Against this background, questions for consideration at this hybrid roundtable will include:

  • What can we expect on trade from the Biden administration in the next 12 months, and how will other big trading powers (especially the EU, China, Brazil and India) respond?

  • What role will trade policy play in the 2024 US presidential election?

  • If a Republican wins the White House next year, what are likely to be the main impacts on US trade policy?

This discussion forms part of the event series under the Chatham House Global Trade Policy Forum.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank AIG (founding partner), Boston Consulting Group (associate partner) and Diageo plc (supporting partner) for their generous support of the Forum.

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