ATR, Partners Urge Biden Administration to Prioritize Free Trade Agreements

Submitted by rsaydlowski on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, 4,51 PM

Americans for Tax Reform on Monday released a new coalition letter signed by 11 free-market organizations calling on the Biden administration to pursue free trade agreements with more countries.

The letter requested that President Biden prioritize free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and Taiwan, as well as pursue accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The letter highlights benefits of free trade agreements, such as the fact that “trade agreements increased GDP by $88 billion, increased trade by $1.3 trillion, and helped create 485,000 jobs.” It further explains that trade agreements which promote free-market rules ensure “American innovators, exporters, and workers are treated fairly abroad.”

For example, the Reagan administration pushed for a global minimum standard of intellectual property protection; ultimately the world agreed and signed the TRIPS agreement. Without such protections, the R&D and licensing agreements between innovators and manufacturers of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines may not have been possible.

Yet, the letter argues, more needs to be done to protect IP. Coerced transfers and other violations of American intellectual property rights continue to proliferate globally. Trade agreements are the proper venue to advance enforceable protections.

The letter underscores that free trade agreements are a highly bipartisan issue in the United States. It states, “The Uruguay Round negotiations and NAFTA negotiations both started under Republican Administrations but were completed by a Democratic Administration.”

The letter calls on the Biden administration to “engage boldly with our trading partners to extend the benefits of free trade: defend the free-flow of data, remove burdensome tariff and non-tariff barriers, secure the next-generation IP protections, and address how state-owned enterprises and trade-distorting subsidies adversely affect open-market economies.”

Finally, the letter concludes, “Trade agreements are mutually beneficial exchanges that create win-win transactions for all countries involved. There are no losers, only winners. Trade helps strengthen the free world.”

Click here to read the full letter. 

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