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Biden’s Trade Rep Snubs American Economic Interests By Endorsing European Regulation

​​U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai created yet more controversy recently by heaping praise on foreign barriers to American competition created by the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA is a sprawling piece of antitrust legislation that directly targets almost exclusively American companies to restrict how they’re allowed to compete against other businesses. The DMA was identified as a barrier to trade by the USTR’s office in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 National Trade Estimate report.

Tai’s remarks on a South by Southwest (SXSW) panel praised the EU as a “really good example” of how governments should approach the digital economy. She said that we should not rely on old practices such as considering “what’s the nationality of your company” as an indicator of “who I should be fighting for.” This strongly suggests Biden’s USTR prioritizes working with European regulators instead of American firms and economic interests.

Given her office’s responsibility to lower barriers to trade, Tai’s praise for the DMA is a concerning departure from her core responsibility – advocating for the interests of American businesses and workers in international trade. It also comes on the heels of another controversial move by the USTR to stop advocating for pro-American digital trade rules at the World Trade Organization.

The role of the USTR is clear – to represent the U.S. economy and secure favorable trade policies and agreements that allow American companies to compete and succeed in global markets. However, Tai’s comments at SXSW show she has lost focus on her core responsibility and is replacing it with a focus on progressive passion projects, enabling more attacks by the Biden administration on successful American businesses.

Specifically at SXSW, Tai said that antitrust and disinformation were both issues that her office should use to decide when and whether to advocate in support of American trade abroad.

This is another example of the Biden administration prioritizing left-wing political ideals above the national interest. The U.S. tech industry is the economy’s “key growth engine” and is a crucial part of America’s strategy to maintain future economic dominance. USTR is supposed to help foster an environment where American entrepreneurs and businesses can thrive internationally, not impede their progress with ideological agendas.

The American people expect the U.S. Trade Representative to be a stalwart defender of our nation’s economic and workforce interests on the global stage. Tai’s baffling embrace of the Digital Markets Act and stated intent to pursue political trade policies over pro-American ones represents an unacceptable dereliction of that duty.

The Biden administration must realign the USTR’s efforts with its core mission – using every negotiating lever to open markets, knock down barriers and ensure a fair playing field for American entrepreneurs, workers and job creators. Anything less is a failure to meet one of the federal government’s central obligations to its citizens: to work on their behalf.

Image created by NetChoice using ChatGPT’s DALL-E.