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Biden might not undo US protectionism, says Catalan trade agency

End of Trump era will mean a change in tone, but commerce officials don’t expect major policy changes

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11 November 2020 10:38 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The victory of Joe Biden in the US election might prove to be a pivotal point on many aspects after four years of Trump presidency—but when it comes to America’s protectionist policies, some are expecting more of the same.

The Catalonia Trade & Investment agency (ACCIÓ) expects a Biden administration to bring about change in "tone" while keeping some of the tariffs put in place by his predecessor under the ‘America First’ strategy.

"There are certain dynamics in place that suggest no big changes will occur," said Cristina Serradell, ACCIÓ’s internationalization director. 

Isidre Sala, the Catalan delegate in the US, predicted in an interview with Catalan News that a Biden win could help Catalan industries, due to renewed “confidence” in US-European trade.

Before Trump came to power in 2016, protectionism was already on the rise both in the US and across the world, she says—a trend that will most certainly continue once he leaves the White House.

The United States accounts for 3.6% of Catalan exports, making it it’s seventh largest partner and the first outside the European market.

In 2019, Catalan exports to the US rose to a record 2,7 billion euros, a 5.3% increase from the previous year.

While the importance of the US market for Catalan companies remains indisputable, some sectors have suffered from tariffs put in place in the last four years.

Food producers report economic losses worth 50 million euros from October 2019 to last August, according to Prodeca, a Catalan government agency promoting Catalan exports.

Wine, olive oil, and pork meat were among the products hardest hit by US tariffs.

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  • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with their partners celebrating the win on November 8, 2020 (by Reuters)

  • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with their partners celebrating the win on November 8, 2020 (by Reuters)

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