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Biden Economic Agenda Dealt a Notable Blow by Senate Democrats



Some Democrats are putting distance between themselves, President Biden and “Bidenomics” as the 2024 election is now eleven months away.

Division and reservation were on full display as Biden’s global trade agenda “appears dead on arrival with no chance to get it off the ground,” according to the Washington Examiner.

Tellingly, the dead-on-arrival status is not rooted in opposition from Republicans but from Democrats.

House Democrats appeared to follow the lead of leading Democratic senators who spoke out against Biden’s economic plan, which they feared would negatively impact the economy and cost them votes in the upcoming election.

Vulnerable House Democrats were particularly reticent to support Biden’s economic “worker-centered” plan, which should not have surprised the White House, as there was opposition to the plan, which Biden outlined at the November Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

The Examiner reported that “the root of the plan was to use trade to raise labor and environmental standards, as opposed to former deals that incentivized outsourcing in exchange for lower standards.”

Biden’s “worker-centered” trade and economic plan faced immediate opposition from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and other Democratic leaders. The backlash prompted the White House to pull aspects of the proposed plan summit discussions but has since reintroduced similar language.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) told Politico: “There were some big concerns that we would be retreating back to the day where trade was a race to the bottom, especially for workers. And even if their framework wasn’t really a retreat on the progress we’ve made … the perception would be there.”

A senior White House official defended Biden’s proposals, saying: “It’s not a secret that the United States, for a while now, has pushed for high standards in these areas and that some of our trading partners find that difficult. Even though that can be the case, the United States — especially under President Biden — is not going to back away from the importance of these things.”

Pushing back, Brown argued Biden’s proposal could hurt workers and favored corporations. “I want there to be trade between nations,” Brown said, adding, “I don’t want it to be about corporate giveaways and hurting workers.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) argued that additional discussion was needed before Biden’s proposals could be passed.

“I am going to oppose flawed trade proposals,” Wyden said. “And what we have seen thus far on trade is Congress being pushed to the side, and I consider that to be flawed.”

Biden administration representatives state the battle is not over. Though the president faces opposition within his party at home and has been unable to move forward with his trade initiative among Asia-Pacific nations, U.S. Trade representative Katherine Tai said:

“I think that what we are encountering is a resistance to change and a slowness to coming to the realization of what we’re trying to do.” However, Tai assured, “But it’s happening.”

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