Air Date

January 13, 2021

Featured Guests

Charles Freeman
Senior Vice President for Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Marjorie Chorlins
Senior Vice President, Europe, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Neil Herrington
Senior Vice President, Americas Program, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Nisha Biswal
Former Senior Vice President, International Strategy and Global Initiatives and South Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Myron Brilliant
Former Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


To recover and rebuild America's economy, the U.S. must reassert itself as a leader in foreign trade and the international economy. In this interview, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant discusses the state of international trade with the Chamber’s international team leaders and explores how the United States can strengthen its global competitiveness.

As Companies Look to Diversify, the United States Must Innovate to Bring Chinese Production Back Home

Over the last 50 years, China has emerged as one of the world’s top economies, second only to the United States. That rise is fueled by the country’s tremendous growth in areas such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. In many cases, Chinese market leaders in these sectors are financially supported by the Chinese government.

“We’re going to have to be more nimble,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Asia Charles Freeman. “We’re going to have to take advantage of opportunities in other markets where we find them.”

Amid the pandemic and political risks, more businesses may seek to diversify their supply chains and customer bases. According to Freeman, this poses both a challenge and opportunity for the United States.

“What we need is for ... the United States to step up its game, to be more competitive, so that some of the Chinese production can come home,” he stressed. “But there’s a lot of work ahead.”

How America and Its Administration Can Reframe the Transatlantic Relationship

Whereas China is increasingly viewed as a major competitor of the United States, Europe has long been seen as a robust trade partner. However, relations between Europe and the U.S. have shifted in recent years, in part due to levying of tariffs and countermeasures.

According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Europe, Marjorie Chorlins, reframing the transatlantic relationship to a more collaborative one is key.

“[The Biden administration] can look at areas where the U.S. and Europe can partner together here,” Chorlins explained. Key domains include sustainability, reforming the multilateral trading system and responding to unfair business practices in China.

“It’s one thing to be more competitive,” she added. “It’s another to do it at the expense of American companies.

The United States Has Vast Potential for Global Reach and Impact

Though the U.S. has faced its share of challenges, American business is also uniquely positioned to support economic growth around the world.

The Latin American region was particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, especially as they faced pre-existing challenges around economic stagnation and an already-frayed social safety net. Neil Herrington, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of the Americas, emphasized the importance of working with the United States to combat the underlying issues and increase their overall competitiveness.

“No priority is greater for the region as we try and attract investment and enhance competitiveness moving forward,” said Herrington.

Khush Choksy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Middle East, Turkey and Central Asia, expressed that their region would also welcome U.S. involvement.

“The Biden administration will likely focus on issues related to human rights in the region, freedom of the media and climate and sustainability,” Choksy explained. “All of these are welcomed by our companies, as our work priorities include healthcare, digital reforms [and] including women in the workforce.”

India and Africa Can Offer Unique Trade Opportunities

India has become an increasingly important trade partner for the United States, driving growth in sectors such as renewable energy and the digital economy. However, for this growth to continue, “the U.S. and India are going to need to really work hard to harmonize their approaches,” noted U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of South Asia, Nisha Biswal.

Similarly, Africa offers a relatively-untapped market for international trade opportunities. Scott Eisner, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Africa, stressed the importance of the region engaging as a business community and supporting government outreach.

“You can’t have a strong democracy without a strong business community,” Eisner said. “That’s a world where the Chamber plays strong and hard on the continent and also puts our allies and our competitors on notice that our businesses are there for the long haul.”