Biden Forced To Tread Carefully Around Trump’s Trade Policy

( President Joe Biden has pretty aggressively tried to tear down as many policies of former President Donald Trump as he possible can.

In just his first few weeks in office, he has overturned a ban on travelers who come from majority Muslim countries. He’s put a halt to the Keystone XL pipeline. He overturned a law that prevented transgender people from serving in a branch of the military. He rejoined America in the Paris climate agreement.

And there is much more that he’s done to remove any signs of Trump from the White House.

One area where he has yet to do so — and has given no indication that he will — is trade. Trump took a hard-line stance on trade with foreign countries, negotiation new deals with Canada and Mexico, and placing high tariffs on aluminum, steel and other imported goods from China.

Trump’s aim was to try to restore the millions of factory jobs that have been lost in America to other countries in recent years. He also sought to shrink the trade deficit that the U.S. has faced.

While it was one of Trump’s trademark policies, Biden has yet to take any action on trade just yet.

The new Democratic president hasn’t promised to cancel Trump’s tariffs, to end an impasse with the World Trade Organization, or to scale back on any other measures his predecessor put in. Biden, in fact, hasn’t done much with trade at all — focusing instead of the COVID-19 pandemic and related areas such as economics and overall healthcare.

As Mary Lovely, an economist at Syracuse University, described to the Associated Press:

“He is going to take his time. Biden has said repeatedly that he needs America to be stronger before he takes on a lot of these trade issues.”

One of the main reasons why Biden is hesitant to act on trade is he doesn’t want to upset the American labor unions that he needs to hold dear to him. Many of these unions were not happy with the consensus of free trade that existed before Trump took office, the AP reported.

Areas such as the Midwest have suffered greatly from imports coming from China and Mexico that are much cheaper than the goods produced in their manufacturing towns. Biden needs those votes and that support, and he doesn’t want to upset them at all.

One of the main reasons why Trump won the 2016 presidential election is that he was able to rally people behind his ideas for America-first. Trade and bringing manufacturing jobs back here to the U.S. were a big part of that.

If Biden were to immediately work to undo many of those Trump initiatives, it’s likely he would upset many voters in critical swing states. And while Biden is still four years away from a potential run for re-election, the congressional midterm elections are only two years away.

Right now, Democrats hold only slight majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives. If Biden upsets middle America, he could easily spend his last two years of his term dealing with a Republican majority in both chambers.