Biden Trade Chief Says U.S. Committed to Tackling Climate Change

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President Joe Biden’s trade chief used her first speech to reiterate the administration’s commitment to fighting climate change, saying it will lay out ambitious new 2030 emissions targets for the Paris Agreement next week.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, confirmed last month, said that she is committed to enforcing environmental rules in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that took effect last year.

Biden Trade Chief Says U.S. Committed to Tackling Climate Change

Tai highlighted illegal logging and overfishing as two environmental areas that need to be addressed. She underlined the role of fisheries negotiations at the World Trade Organization, while mentioning scathing criticism of the WTO.

The organization’s weak environmental protections are “part of the reason why, today, the WTO is considered by many as an institution that not only has no solutions to offer on environmental concerns, but is part of the problem,” Tai said in prepared remarks for an online forum organized by the Center for American Progress

“The intersection of environment, climate change, labor, and trade are key to our collective ability to compete, innovate, and create livable wage jobs that will provide hope and opportunity for future generations and underserved communities,” Tai said. “This is why I believe that trade policy is an essential and strategic part of the solution to these huge challenges.”

Biden has placed climate change at the center of his agenda. He plans to direct his administration to develop a strategy on climate-related risks for public and private financial assets, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg News last week.

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