CEI and Other Organizations Urge Biden Administration to Prioritize Free Trade Agreements

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Dear President Biden,

On behalf of the undersigned groups, we urge you to pursue free-trade agreements that enhance America’s freedom, prosperity, and competitiveness. The administration should prioritize achieving comprehensive agreements with the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Trade agreements represent opportunities for the United States to promote our economic system of free markets, property rights, and individual freedom. Advancing these principles has led to profound progress in the U.S. and across the world. According to the International Trade Commission, trade agreements increased GDP by $88 billion, increased trade by $1.3 trillion, and helped create 485,000 jobs.

Trade negotiations also have strengthened the protection of intellectual property rights. Adoption of the WTO TRIPS agreement was a major step forward, yet more needs to be done. The United States benefits significantly from IP protection because our cuttingedge researchers and companies too often see their innovations misappropriated and used without compensation by entities overseas. As we have seen with the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines, it is important for America to maintain its ability to conduct high-tech research.

The reciprocal nature of trade agreements also allows the United States to create stronger trade partnerships that ensure free-market rules and customs are adopted and promoted. In turn, this ensures American innovators, exporters, and workers are treated fairly abroad. For instance, the digital chapter in the recent USMCA extends free-market principles to e-commerce by prohibiting arbitrary, unjustifiable, or other restrictions on the cross-border transfer of information.

In America’s absence, trade partners have adopted other rules that reflect the values of our adversaries, such as China, that censor political speech online, seize proprietary information, and normalize data localization. At the same time, America’s competitors enjoy preferential access to each other’s markets through trade agreements of their own. We must reject isolationism and protectionism.

Instead, America should 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.

Advancing free trade through trade agreements is not a partisan effort. For instance, the Uruguay Round negotiations and NAFTA negotiations both started under Republican Administrations but were completed by a Democrat Administration.

We should build on this by negotiating new trade agreements that benefit both American workers and businesses. The top priority should be resolving outstanding transatlantic trade disputes, quickly followed by finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is one of our closest allies and trade partners, and the FTA is reportedly near completion. America should also enter negotiations to join the CPTPP which encompasses 13 percent of world GDP. Further, the United States should finish negotiations with India, Brazil, and Kenya and begin negotiations with Taiwan, a key partner in Asia.

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.


Lisa B. Nelson


ALEC Action

Brent Gradner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist


Americans for Tax Reform

Iain Murray

Vice President for Strategy

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Elizabeth Hicks

U.S. Affairs Analyst

Consumer Choice Center

George Landrith


Frontiers of Freedom

Seton Motley


Less Government

Pete Sepp


National Taxpayers Union

Lorenzo Montanari

Executive Director

Property Rights Alliance

Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams


Taxpayers Protection Alliance