Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Daniel McDowell is filling in this week.
When Joe Biden is inaugurated as America’s next president on Jan. 20, he is expected to take quick action to reverse many of Donald Trump’s policies. The incoming administration has spent months laying the legal groundwork for a flurry of swift, bold executive actions on issues like climate policy, immigration, transgender rights and nuclear weapons. Conspicuously absent from this list, however, is trade.
Biden could undo many of the Trump administration’s most significant trade moves, like its tariffs on imports from both China and U.S. allies, with the stroke of a pen. But Trump’s “America First” trade agenda appears to be safe for now. Biden, it seems, will instead accept and continue to adhere to Trump’s trade legacy due to cold political calculation and a shift in ideology within the Democratic Party on free trade.