U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says America’s trade policy should be focused less on increasing exports and more on leveraging access to U.S. markets as a means to influence foreign countries on issues such as environmental and labor standards.
U.S. Trade Rep Katherine TaiAmerica’s “superpower” isn’t its ability to export but rather its economy, its hunger for imports, and the price it can extract from foreign countries for access into that market, Tai said last week in Washington.
“I always hear that … our focus should be on facilitating exports, pushing other people’s tariffs down, doing these free trade agreements,” Tai said during an event hosted by the Open Markets Institute at the National Press Club.
“The issue is, if you look at the profile of the U.S. economy, while we may be only 5% of the world’s population, we are 30% of the world’s [gross domestic product] all by ourselves.
“And so, what that means is: If we have a superpower, it’s actually not in exports and supplying. It’s in consuming. Understand your own power. If that’s the case … we should be focused on how do we leverage the power of access into our own markets.”
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