U.S. Policies That Can Strengthen Recovery
The Biden-Harris administration will have an opportunity to strengthen supply chains and position the United States as a go-to partner for COVID-19 recovery, says a report from Baker McKenzie and Atlantic Council. This is how they can advance policies that help supply chains withstand major disruptions, the report says:
- Expand U.S. commercial ties in Latin America to generate jobs in the United States and in the region. With more free-trade partners than anywhere else in the world and proximity, the region is a promising platform.
- Nearshoring in the Western Hemisphere, where businesses will find similar time zones and proximity to domestic and regional markets. Mexico, Colombia, and Central America are in a unique position to take advantage of this opportunity.
- Analyze existing trade agreements to ensure that implementation takes advantage of the free flow of commerce intended in the original agreement. If technical barriers impede commerce, they should be rapidly addressed.
- Better utilize the web of Western Hemisphere agreements, with more efficient harmonization that facilitates intraregional and U.S. trade.
- Create formal institutional tools to ensure common agreement among industries in case of another disruption, such as updating the 2012 North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza to include a chapter on supply chain protection.
- Invest in physical and digital infrastructure. Through a development finance corporation, the United States can better support private-sector efforts to upgrade roads, rail, and deepwater ports, as well as expand broadband and internet connectivity.