The (Geo)Politics of the Biden Administration’s Trade Policy


About the Webinar

One year into its office, the Biden administration is yet to give any signal that the US would rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or put forth any concrete trade strategy to fill up the economic component of its Indo-Pacific strategy. US aloofness towards the regional multilateral trade architecture stands in contrast with China’s activism in deepening its trade linkages with countries in the Asia-Pacific, most notably through its participation in the Regional Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (RCEP) and its expressed interest to join the CPTPP. At the heart of the US’ lacklustre trade policy are the domestic political constraints faced by the Biden administration. This disinterest is likely to have implications for the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy as well as US standing in its strategic competition with China vis-à-vis Asian countries. This webinar intends to explore the nexus between US domestic politics and trade policy, the prospects of the Biden administration’s Asia-Pacific trade strategy, and its possible implications for Southeast Asia.

About the Speakers

Marc Mealy is the Senior Vice President-Policy at the US-ASEAN Business Council. He manages the production of the Council’s information products, coordinates advocacy efforts across the US and industry committees, and serves as the in-house lead on international trade policy. He joined the Council in 2003 and was named the Vice President in 2010. Marc has over thirty years of experience in international trade and economics. He began his professional career in 1989 as an international economist with the International Trade Policy Division of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Services. He then joined the United States Foreign Service, and later went on to manage some of USDA’s largest commodity trade finance (GSM) and food assistance programs (PL-480) in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Marc also spent four years in the U.S. Congress, first as professional staff of the House International Relations Committee, and then international economic and foreign policy advisor to Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, the current Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the House Financial Services Committees.

Soo Yeon Kim is Associate Professor and Head of Department at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Yonsei University. Professor Kim’s research is in international political economy, with special interests in trade agreements, regionalism and the World Trade Organisation. She is the author of Power and the Governance of Global Trade: From the GATT to the WTO (Cornell University Press, 2011). Her research has also appeared in reputable peer-reviewed journals such as International Organisation, Economics and Politics and Journal of East Asian Studies. Her current research project involves a monograph on the impact of the US-China trade war on trade and investment in ASEAN.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Mar 24 2022


9:00 am - 10:15 am