At a recent meeting the President’s Export Council submitted a number of recommendations “to help ensure that the future is built in America” and address a number of related challenges.

Trade Barriers. Noting that non-tariff barriers, including standards, regulation, and non-transparent customs clearance, are on the rise around the world, the PEC urged “an enhanced focus on U.S. commercial diplomacy,” including through the enhanced presence of U.S. commercial service officers and standards attachés around the globe. “As American manufacturers bring more innovative products online,” the PEC said, “it is essential that the assistance in navigating export markets is in place.” For example, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s Global Procurement Initiative could be expanded throughout the Indo-Pacific region to advance labor rights, human rights, environmental rights, and work to eradicate forced and child labor in each country.

Trade Agreements. The PEC called for reauthorizing the African Growth and Opportunity Act before it expires in 2025 and adding language requiring beneficiary countries to accept U.S. standards, including automotive standards, and recognize the U.S. automotive certification system. The council also said that a required six-year review of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement should not result in measures that inadvertently render the agreement’s conditions too restrictive for U.S. manufacturers, including its rules of origin.

Exports. The PEC outlined a variety of ways the administration could work to increase exports and support U.S. businesses in overseas markets for clean technology and climate technology, including negotiating an environmental goods and services agreement at the World Trade Organization, preventing the rise of new trade barriers associated with circular economy regulations, and ensuring that trading partner commitments are adequately monitored and enforced.

Supply Chains. Stating that the U.S. is dependent on many critical minerals and strategic materials in the manufacturing of consumer products, such as phones, computers, cars, and military platforms and equipment, the PEC recommended (1) a coordinated interagency approach to provide incentives for U.S. allies and partners to align investment strategies for critical mineral supply chains to increase overall critical mineral production capacity, (2) stronger U.S. domestic strategies for onshoring solutions for sourcing critical minerals, (3) a continued prioritization of investment in research of advanced materials and recycling technologies, and (4) taking steps to ensure that the production of these and other materials essential for the manufacturing of related products is retained in the U.S., including the alignment of regulatory policies and actions.

Separately, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the re-establishment of the PEC’s Subcommittee on Export Administration, which “will gather insight from key stakeholders to ensure our [export] controls are carefully tailored to maximize our national security impact while advancing U.S. technological leadership.”

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