OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.
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President Biden’s global trade agenda faces significant opposition from within his own party, leading to a deadlock in negotiations.

Key Senate Democrats, concerned about potential harm to workers and their own reelection prospects, have pushed back against the trade plans.

Despite Biden’s efforts to establish worker-centered trade and raise labor and environmental standards, the perception remains that the proposed initiatives may not effectively protect workers or prevent job outsourcing. (Trending: Obama Judge Issues Shock Ruling Against Democrats)

The failure to reach consensus at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings and criticism from Democratic senators have dealt a major blow to the president’s trade agenda.

President Joe Biden’s global trade agenda appears dead on arrival with no chance to get off the ground as the nation enters the 2024 election season — and he has his party to blame.

A pillar of Biden’s economic plan was to sell “worker-centered” trade, but he failed to earn support from vulnerable Democrats who were worried that those workers would turn away from the party at the ballots over the measures. The president suffered several recent blows to his trade agenda after key Senate Democrats spoke out against the plan, worried it would harm workers and their own chances at reelection.

The most recent pushback against the president’s trade plans came in San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, during which Biden planned to unveil his trade initiative in the form of an economic pact with 13 other Indo-Pacific nations. The root of the plan was to use trade to raise labor and environmental standards, as opposed to former deals that incentivized outsourcing in exchange for lower standards.

“There were some big concerns that we would be retreating back to the day where trade was a race to the bottom, especially for workers,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said.

“And even if their framework wasn’t really a retreat on the progress we’ve made … the perception would be there.”

However, at the last minute, Biden’s team pulled the trade part of the talks after final negotiations stalled, causing and other Democrats to express everything from concern to outright opposition to the proposal.

“It’s gone,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said regarding one piece of the Indo-Pacific deal.

“They backed off it, so it’s done.”

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“It’s not a secret that the United States, for a while now, has pushed for high standards in these areas and that some of our trading partners find that difficult,” an administration official stated.

“Even though that can be the case, the United States — especially under President Biden — is not going to back away from the importance of these things.”

“I want there to be trade between nations,” Brown said.

“I don’t want it to be about corporate giveaways and hurting workers.”

“I am going to oppose flawed trade proposals,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said.

“And what we have seen thus far on trade is Congress being pushed to the side, and I consider that to be flawed.”

However, Biden’s team remains committed to pursuing the global trade agenda, highlighting successful pacts on supply chains, anti-corruption, and clean energy initiatives with Asia-Pacific nations.

“I think that what we are encountering is a resistance to change and a slowness to coming to the realization of what we’re trying to do,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said.

“But it’s happening.”

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