WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today delivered pre-recorded remarks during the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade stakeholder event, “Crafting the Transatlantic Green Marketplace.”
Ambassador Tai’s remarks as delivered are below:
Hello, everyone, and welcome. I’m Katherine Tai, the United States Trade Representative.
I first want to thank the EU for co-sponsoring this important event, and especially my friend Executive Vice President Dombrovskis for being such a great partner.
We spent the day together yesterday at the TTC ministerial and covered a lot of ground. Our transatlantic trade relationship is important, and I’m so proud of the work we have accomplished this past year.
But we know there’s more we can do, to use trade as a force for good for our people and our planet.
This is especially true when we’re talking about our shared goals, like addressing global steel and aluminum excess capacity and emissions intensity, strengthening the resilience and sustainability of our supply chains, and ensuring a just and inclusive green transition.
These are key pillars to the Biden-Harris Administration’s trade agenda, to deliver tangible benefits to working people and their communities. And the TTC and the TIST are central to the transatlantic relationship, to further deepen our cooperation on these issues.
Yesterday, we opened this event with a workshop focused on labor and the just transition. I was so pleased to see such a robust participation from our labor and business communities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Stakeholders from labor and business engaged in a productive discussion on issues related to the green transition and how we can create good-paying jobs as a part of our climate policy and investments. We also talked about the importance of workers having that seat at the table to engage on environmental issues that directly impact them.
President Biden often says that, when he thinks climate change, he thinks jobs, and I completely agree. And not just that. When we think climate change, we think good jobs. The green transition is an opportunity to equip and empower more communities across our societies, and you all play an important role in making that happen.
We need everyone’s voices—especially workers’ voices—to shape and build policies that will affect their and our future. It’s more than just having folks at the table though—it’s about incorporating their priorities into the heart of our work.
Because only then can we really build our middle classes together, and instead of pitting them against each other.
This is also at the heart of our work on advancing our shared decarbonization and climate priorities.
We are collaborating on innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in energy-intensive industries while also focusing on making our supply chains more resilient and sustainable for the clean economy.
Tackling the climate crisis and advancing sustainable trade policy is not easy—trust me I know it’s hard work. And we need new, innovative approaches to solve today’s novel problems.
This is why your input is so central to our work. The time that you invested into organizing this event will not go unnoticed, and we look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can move forward, together.
My first speech as the USTR, was back in April 2021, and it was on this very topic of trade policy, the environment, and the climate crisis.
So much has changed since then, including ongoing and increasing geopolitical challenges.
But one thing that remains constant is the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis and to bring about a just and inclusive green transition for workers. And we know that we will do this together with trusted partners like the EU and all of you.
This is truly a team effort—no one government or organization or company can do this alone.
There is incredible potential in the green economy—but that potential will only be fully realized if we are courageous enough to forge new paths; empower our people; and deliver real, lasting change for the better.
That’s the kind of future I know we can build together.
Thank you so much for all that you do, and I wish you a productive event.