USTR Charts a Path for U.S. Trade Relations Around the Globe

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council hosted a virtual Global Business Briefing with Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish, Deputy United States Trade Representative. Mr. Jason Grove, Divisional Vice President of International Government Affairs at Abbott Laboratories, provided introductory remarks, and Mr. Alex Mistri, Vice President for Government and External Affairs at Hess Corporation, moderated the discussion in his capacity as Chair of the Meridian Corporate Council.

The hour-long discussion centered on U.S. trade relations with countries around the world, with particular attention to China, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Following the recent entry into force of Phase One of the U.S.-China trade agreement, the trade representatives of both nations are committed to its successful implementation, even under the constraints of COVID-19. Phase One is helping U.S. manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and workers compete on a more level playing field in China. A positive trade relationship between the U.S. and China will benefit the economic and political relationships between the two economic powerhouses.

U.S. manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, and workers also stand to benefit from a future U.S.-UK free trade agreement, as negotiations between both nations continue throughout 2020. An agreement would reduce high tariffs and barriers to trade currently in place, and COVID-19 only further highlighted the shared benefits and challenges of an agreement between the U.S. and the UK. A free trade agreement would strengthen the long-term historical, cultural and economic ties between both countries.

Digital services taxes also featured in the discussion, following the USTR’s June 2020 announcement of investigations into 10 U.S. trading partners for their implementation of digital service taxes against U.S. tech companies. WTO reform also remain a top priority for the USTR, and the U.S. hopes for future improvements on issues with the dispute settlement mechanism and developing country designations. COVID-19 disrupted trade flows around the world, and the United States is committed to maintaining free, fair and reciprocal trade with each of its trade partners as the world reopens after the pandemic.


Project summary

USTR Charts a Path for U.S. Trade Relations Around the Globe | June 2020
Number of Attendees: 65
Regions: East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Private Sector