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Congress, Encourage Biden’s USTR to Prioritize American Trade Interests

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai will testify to the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee about the Biden administration’s 2024 plans for trade policy. Tai’s recent policy decisions on digital trade have undermined the American economy, our businesses, and our workers, and we hope to see Committee Members encourage her to rethink these moves in this hearing.

“NetChoice implores Congress to inspire USTR Tai to do her job and ensure that America remains a global leader in digital trade,” said Steve DelBianco, NetChoice President & CEO. “As the United States’ chief trade negotiator, Tai is tasked with securing trade policies and agreements that benefit Americans and promote our national ideals on the global stage. However, Tai has deviated from this essential role to instead pursue a progressive agenda that compromises the competitiveness of our businesses.”

Bipartisan Members of Congress have also spoken out against Tai’s actions. In a November 2023 letter to President Biden, 32 Senators expressed concerns about the USTR’s decision to pull America out of World Trade Organization (WTO) e-commerce negotiations on free cross-border data flows, data localization and source code review. The Senators wrote:

“These commitments reflect bipartisan principles that, until now, the United States has strongly supported across political parties, administrations, and the federal government: an open internet that promotes the flow of information across borders to support American exports and American values. USTR’s decision to abandon these commitments at the WTO creates a policy vacuum that China and Russia will fill. Accordingly, before changing the longstanding U.S. position, we request that you work with Congress and run a comprehensive consultation process—with other federal agencies, with the public, and with us—to reach a consensus U.S. position on these issues that promotes U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and jobs.”

In another letter to President Biden sent last month, a group of Republican Senators also noted that Tai’s decision to abandon WTO talks “disregarded long-standing bipartisan trade agreements” and the clear position of Congress. They explain how “[f]urther degrading of leadership on these issues will allow for adversaries like China to write protectionist digital trade rules that undermine the rule of law, open American businesses to additional intellectual property theft, and harm the millions of small businesses that are the lifeblood of the American economy.”

Yesterday, NetChoice joined a broad coalition of over 40 groups across various U.S. industry sectors, urging the Biden administration to reverse Tai’s recent actions on digital trade policy: “Our concerns regarding USTR’s retreat from digital trade protections underscore the critical need for a return to policies that safeguard cross-border data flows and prevent discrimination against American companies.” 

A wide-ranging coalition of American industries, organizations and lawmakers have been speaking out against USTR’s recent policy changes. In today’s hearing, NetChoice hopes to see members of the House Ways & Means Committee question Tai on these decisions and encourage her to follow through with the USTR’s mission—to advance American trade interests on the world stage.

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.