Global Trade and the Digital Economy: 3 Opportunities for US Businesses in 2022

U.S. Chamber of Commerce EVP Myron Brilliant discussed three opportunities American businesses can take advantage of to impact the global economy in 2022.


Air Date: May 11, 2022

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

From a rocky geopolitical landscape to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global business community has been working tirelessly to stay afloat in 2022. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2nd annual Global Forum on May 10 and 11, 2022, to discuss these global issues with government and business leaders in the hope of finding solutions.

To kick off day two of the forum, Myron Brilliant, the Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, shared some opening remarks to set the stage for the day’s programming. Brilliant summarized three major issues affecting the interconnected global economy, as well as some significant opportunities American businesses have to impact the global economy.

The United States Needs to Be a Leader in Trade Again

Brilliant advocated the need for the United States to be more actively involved in global trade again. He cited that 40 million American jobs depend on trade, and millions more depend on the goods imported into the country. And with supply chain issues and a looming food crisis, the U.S. needs to have a response and become active in the trade market again.

“It's more important than ever before to remove trade barriers,” said Brilliant. “Protectionism will only further stress the global agricultural supply chain.”

“Even more important is getting off the sidelines and back into the trade game in a robust way,” he continued. “The United States has not entered into a trade agreement with the new partner in a decade while the rest of the world is moving forward without us. [In contrast,] Europe has 46 trade agreements with 78 countries.”

Brilliant also gave his support for the Indo-Pacific economic framework, which will once again reengage the United States and other countries in trade partnerships with Asia. However, the incentive for some countries to join is still unclear.

“We're still not providing market access,” he said. “The business committee will continue to work with the U.S. government on this framework to help strengthen trade rules, increased certainty and confidence, and facilitate best practices.”

U.S. Businesses Have an Opportunity to Forge Working Relationships with China

Brilliant spoke of the opportunity to forge a more sustainable, strategic, and pragmatic relationship with the world's second-largest economy, China. The United States and China have had both political and economic differences. Still, as the world's two superpowers, they need to have a more collaborative partnership in order to benefit not just their own people but the world at large, explained Brilliant.

“There is rising tension between the United States and China,” he said. “But we know that these two large economies impact almost every other global relationship. Companies doing business in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are just as impacted by what is happening in Beijing and Shanghai as companies that are heavily invested in the U.S.”

“We have more work to do in the U.S.-China relationship, and we do need to hold China accountable for its unfair trade practices and its market distortions, but we need to also figure out our relationship going forward with that country,” added Brilliant.

The World Needs to Work Together to Shape the Digital Economy

Brilliant noted that the United States has the opportunity to work with other countries to shape the rules and regulations of the digital economy and emerging technologies. While some countries are on the cutting edge of technology, others are behind. To come together and create policies on the digital economy, the United States needs to evaluate its relationships globally.

“Our ability to seize these opportunities requires us to strengthen our relationships with our allies and countries worldwide that share our views, share our values, and are here to work together,” said Brilliant. “Let's not overlook the significance of the fact that we're clearly in a multipolar world – many countries are hedging their bets because their strategic interests are diverse and span the globe.”