What businesses can expect as US trade policy shifts under Biden

Expect a push for green projects but also greater scrutiny of supply chains for forced labour and other human rights violations, which South-east Asian companies should be mindful of

Much as President-elect Joe Biden wishes to rebuild relationships and restore US leadership, it won’t be easy, says the writer. In the four years since he served as vice-president, the United States relinquished its leading role on forming a regional trade architecture for the 21st century. Now, the leadership on trade comes within Asia itself. PHOTO: REUTERS

In a Biden administration, United States foreign policy will shift significantly from Mr Donald Trump's protectionist version of an "America First" approach. Given the reach of American influence and law, this change in direction will affect global businesses as well.

As corporate leaders prepare to adapt their business operations and strategy to this new paradigm, it helps to look at four foreign policy signposts for the road ahead - the US will now engage multilaterally, incorporate sustainability, shift in a pro-democratic direction and no longer approach trade transactionally.

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