Senate New Finance Policeman Weeden of Oregon Holds Keys to Biden's Business Agenda

Sen. Ron Wyden (D. OR)

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, a Democrat called a pro-trade and pro-labor advocate, now wields significant influence over President Joe Biden's trade agenda, with his support needed to advance trade deals in Congress.

"I'm raising the issue, and you will hear it when we talk about Biden's agenda to rebuild better, implementing stricter trade will be a fundamental principle," said the Oregon Democrat.

In particular, Wyden said it would be "monitoring" Mexico's compliance with stricter labor standards in the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, with a new plant-level inspection mechanism that it helped design. He also calls for a hard-line stance from China, especially against forced labor.

Like Biden, and many members of Congress, Biden's views on the benefits of free trade have changed in recent years. In 2015, he negotiated the current "fast track" negotiating authority that allowed the Obama administration to conclude the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Agreement. He was heavily criticized by the left for the effort, as union groups protested outside his home in Oregon.


19 March 2021

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