U.S. trade policy has enriched corporate elites while leaving workers, particularly Black and Latino workers, behind.
Nissan workers in Mississippi, 2017. Credit: Flickr.
President Joe Biden’s pick for top trade official, Katherine Tai, must work to reverse the harms done by a legacy of trade policies on workers of color. This legacy includes trade agreements that have continued to undermine the U.S. manufacturing sector and a lack of sound industrial policy that could revitalize communities that have been left behind.
Tai should also work to ensure that USTR protects workers and unions in the United States by developing new rules for foreign investors to hire from local communities instead of bringing in workers from elsewhere. She should also coordinate with the Department of Labor, Department of Education, and the Department of Commerce to ensure that Black and Latino workers and communities benefit from these investments.
Tai should also work to increase wages and benefits by encouraging firms to offer apprenticeships for Black and Latino workers and restricting anti-union and anti-worker behavior by these firms, allowing workers to have a voice in corporate governance.