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    Biden Details $2 Trillion Plan to Rebuild Infrastructure and Reshape the Economy

    The president will begin selling his proposal on Wednesday, saying it would fix 20,000 miles of roads and 10,000 bridges, while also addressing climate change and racial inequities and raising corporate taxes.WASHINGTON — President Biden will unveil an infrastructure plan on Wednesday whose $2 trillion price tag would translate into 20,000 miles of rebuilt roads, repairs to the 10 most economically important bridges in the country, the elimination of lead pipes and service lines from the nation’s water supplies and a long list of other projects intended to create millions of jobs in the short run and strengthen American competitiveness in the long run.Biden administration officials said the proposal, which they detailed in a 25-page briefing paper and which Mr. Biden will discuss in an afternoon speech in Pittsburgh, would also accelerate the fight against climate change by hastening the shift to new, cleaner energy sources, and would help promote racial equity in the economy.The spending in the plan would take place over eight years, officials said. Unlike the economic stimulus passed under President Barack Obama in 2009, when Mr. Biden was vice president, officials will not in every case prioritize so-called shovel ready projects that could quickly bolster growth.But even spread over years, the scale of the proposal underscores how fully Mr. Biden has embraced the opportunity to use federal spending to address longstanding social and economic challenges in a way not seen in half a century. Officials said that, if approved, the spending in the plan would end decades of stagnation in federal investment in research and infrastructure — and would return government investment in those areas, as a share of the economy, to its highest levels since the 1960s.The proposal is the first half of what will be a two-step release of the president’s ambitious agenda to overhaul the economy and remake American capitalism, which could carry a total cost of as much as $4 trillion over the course of a decade. Mr. Biden’s administration has named it the “American Jobs Plan,” echoing the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that Mr. Biden signed into law this month, the “American Rescue Plan.”“The American Jobs Plan,” White House officials wrote in the document detailing it, “will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.”While spending on roads, bridges and other physical improvements to the nation’s economic foundations has always had bipartisan appeal, Mr. Biden’s plan is sure to draw intense Republican opposition, both for its sheer size and for its reliance on corporate tax increases to pay for it.Administration officials said the tax increases in the plan — including an increase in the corporate tax rate and a variety of measures to tax multinationals on money they earn and book overseas — would take 15 years to fully offset the cost of the spending programs.The spending in the plan covers a wide range of physical infrastructure projects, including transportation, broadband, the electric grid and housing; efforts to jump-start advanced manufacturing; and other industries officials see as key to the United States’ growing economic competition with China. It also includes money to train millions of workers, as well as money for initiatives to support labor unions and providers of in-home care for older and disabled Americans, while also increasing the pay of the workers who provide that care.The Biden administration’s infrastructure plan proposes $80 billion for Amtrak and freight rail.Alyssa Schukar for The New York TimesMany of the items in the plan carry price tags that would have filled entire, ambitious bills in past administrations.Among them: a total of $180 billion for research and development, $115 billion for roads and bridges, $85 billion for public transit, and $80 billion for Amtrak and freight rail. There is $42 billion for ports and airports, $100 billion for broadband and $111 billion for water infrastructure — including $45 billion to ensure no child ever is forced to drink water from a lead pipe, which can slow children’s development and lead to behavioral and other problems.The plan seeks to repair 10,000 smaller bridges across the country, along with the 10 most economically significant ones in need of a fix. It would electrify 20 percent of the nation’s fleet of yellow school buses. It would spend $300 billion to promote advanced manufacturing, including a four-year plan to restock the country’s Strategic National Stockpile of pharmaceuticals, including vaccines, in preparation for future pandemics.In many cases, officials cast those goals in the language of closing racial gaps in the economy, sometimes the result of previous federal spending efforts, like interstate highway developments that split communities of color or air pollution that affects Black and Hispanic communities near ports or power plants.Officials cast the $400 billion spending on in-home care in part as a salve to “underpaid and undervalued” workers in that industry, who are disproportionately women of color.Mr. Biden’s pledge to tackle climate change is embedded throughout the plan. Roads, bridges and airports would be made more resilient to the effects of more extreme storms, floods and fires wrought by a warming planet. Spending on research and development could help spur breakthroughs in cutting-edge clean technology, while plans to retrofit and weatherize millions of buildings would make them more energy efficient.The president’s focus on climate change is centered, however, on modernizing and transforming the United States’ two largest sources of planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution: cars and electric power plants.A decade ago, Mr. Obama’s economic stimulus plan spent about $90 billion on clean energy programs intended to jump-start the nation’s nascent renewable power and electric vehicle industries. Mr. Biden’s plan now proposes spending magnitudes more on similar programs that he hopes will take those technologies fully into the mainstream.It bets heavily on spending meant to increase the use of electric cars, which today make up just 2 percent of the vehicles on America’s highways.The plan proposes spending $174 billion to encourage the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles by granting tax credits and other incentives to companies that make electric vehicle batteries in the United States instead of China. The goal is to reduce vehicle price tags.The money would also fund the construction of about a half-million electric vehicle charging stations — although experts say that number is but a tiny fraction of what is needed to make electric vehicles a mainstream option.Mr. Biden’s plan proposes $100 billion in programs to update and modernize the electric grid to make it more reliable and less susceptible to blackouts, like those that recently devastated Texas, while also building more transmission lines from wind and solar plants to large cities.It proposes the creation of a “Clean Electricity Standard” — essentially, a federal mandate requiring that a certain percentage of electricity in the United States be generated by zero-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and possibly nuclear power. But that mandate would have to be enacted by Congress, where prospects for its success remain murky. Similar efforts to pass such a mandate have failed multiple times over the past 20 years.Bayfront homes in Mastic Beach, N.Y. The infrastructure plan has provisions intended to help communities deal with the effects of climate change.Johnny Milano for The New York TimesThe plan proposes an additional $46 billion in federal procurement programs for government agencies to buy fleets of electric vehicles, and $35 billion in research and development programs for cutting-edge, new technologies.It also calls for making infrastructure and communities more prepared for the worsening effects of climate change, though the administration has so far provided few details on how it would accomplish that goal.But according to the document released by the White House, the plan includes $50 billion “in dedicated investments to improve infrastructure resilience.” The efforts would defend against wildfires, rising seas and hurricanes, and there would be a focus on investments that protect low-income residents and people of color.The plan also includes a $16 billion program intended to help fossil fuel workers transition to new work — like capping leaks on defunct oil wells and shutting down retired coal mines — and $10 billion for a new “Civilian Climate Corps.”Mr. Biden would fund his spending in part by eliminating tax preferences for fossil fuel producers. But the bulk of his tax increases would come from corporations generally.He would raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, partly reversing a cut signed into law by President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Biden would also take a variety of steps to raise taxes on multinational corporations, many of them working within an overhaul of the taxation of profits earned overseas that was included in Mr. Trump’s tax law in 2017.Those measures would include raising the rate of a minimum tax on global profits and eliminating several provisions that allow companies to reduce their American tax liability on profits they earn and book abroad.Mr. Biden would also add a new minimum tax on the global income of the largest multinationals, and he would ramp up enforcement efforts by the Internal Revenue Service against large companies that evade taxes.Administration officials expressed hope this week that the plan could attract bipartisan support in Congress. But Republicans and business groups have already attacked Mr. Biden’s plans to fund the spending with corporate tax increases, which they say will hurt the competitiveness of American companies. Administration officials say the moves will push companies to keep profits and jobs in the United States.Joshua Bolten, the president and chief executive of the Business Roundtable, a powerful group representing top business executives in Washington, said on Tuesday that his group “strongly opposes corporate tax increases as a pay-for for infrastructure investment.”“Policymakers should avoid creating new barriers to job creation and economic growth,” Mr. Bolten said, “particularly during the recovery.”Coral Davenport More

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    The Agency at the Center of America’s Tech Fight With China

    Washington lawmakers, lobbyists and other parties have been vying to influence how the Bureau of Industry and Security, under the Biden administration, will approach a technology relationship with China.WASHINGTON — As tensions between the United States and China escalate, a little-known federal agency is at the center of a debate in the Biden administration about how tough an approach to take when it comes to protecting American technology.The Bureau of Industry and Security, a division of the Commerce Department, wields significant power given its role in determining the types of technology that companies can export and that foreign businesses can have access to.In recent months, Washington lawmakers, lobbyists and other interested parties have been vying to influence how the agency, under the Biden administration, will approach a technology relationship with China that is both crucial for American industry and national security.China hawks, including a collection of national security experts, congressional Republicans and progressive Democrats, say that in the past, American industry has held too much sway over the bureau. They have been pressing the administration to select a leader for the agency who will take a more aggressive approach to regulating the technology that the United States exports, according to people familiar with the discussions.Their opponents, including some current and former Commerce Department employees, and many in industry and Washington think tanks, caution that putting a hard-liner at the helm could backfire and harm U.S. national security by starving American industry of revenue it needs to stay on the cutting edge of research and encouraging it to relocate offshore.“It’s a very complicated relationship between the economic and national security interest,” said Lindsay Gorman, a fellow for emerging technologies at the German Marshall Fund. “The fine line the Commerce Department has to walk is protecting against national security risks that may not be top of mind for the industry in the short run, without killing the golden goose.”The bureau’s powers became clear during the Trump administration, which wielded its authority aggressively, though somewhat erratically, using the agency to curb exports of advanced technology goods like semiconductors to the telecommunications company Huawei and other Chinese businesses. It weaponized the bureau’s so-called entity list, adding hundreds of Chinese companies to a list that blocks exports of American products to companies or organizations that pose a national security threat.But many of these regulations were enacted haphazardly and often did less to restrict Chinese access to American technology than the Trump administration intended. And at times, President Donald J. Trump offered Chinese companies concessions from these punishments to try to advance a trade deal with China, including offering a reprieve for the Chinese telecom company ZTE and licenses so companies could continue supplying goods to Huawei and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.The Biden administration is still carrying out a review of its China policies and has not indicated how it plans to use the bureau’s powers. Its initial engagement with China got off to an acrimonious start last week at a meeting in Anchorage, and President Biden, in his first news conference on Thursday, emphasized investing heavily in new technologies to compete with Beijing.“The future lies in who can, in fact, own the future as it relates to technology, quantum computing, a whole range of things, including in medical fields,” Mr. Biden said.“I see stiff competition with China,” he added. “They have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world. That’s not going to happen on my watch because the United States are going to continue to grow and expand.”Last week, the Commerce Department said it had issued subpoenas to multiple Chinese technology companies asking them to provide more information on their activities, potentially presaging tighter restrictions on their use and transfer of American data.U.S. officials will soon need to make difficult choices about specific policy actions. That includes how to use the Commerce Department’s powers, including whether to block more exports of American technology, whether to keep or scrap Mr. Trump’s tariffs on foreign metals, and how to set the standards for national security reviews of foreign investments.The complication stems from China’s position as both the largest export market for many multinational companies, and America’s biggest acknowledged security threat.China’s authoritarian leaders have proposed plans to expand their market share in emerging industries like semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, while easing the country’s dependence on foreign energy and technology. And as Beijing’s economic influence and technological capacities grow, so will its military and geopolitical influence.“China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system — all the rules, values, and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said this month in his first major address, in which he called the U.S. relationship with China “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.”The Commerce Department is responsible for promoting the interests of American business and has always had a close relationship with industry. But as the China tech competition has intensified, the department has taken on a larger role in regulating company activity, as well. In 2018, Congress updated its laws governing export controls, giving the Bureau of Industry and Security more power to determine what kind of emerging technologies cannot be shared with China and other geopolitical rivals.A semiconductor factory in Nantong, China. The country accounts for about one-third of the industry’s revenue.Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesBut critics say the bureau has given companies and industry groups too much influence over its regulatory process and failed to adopt to the new realities of global competition.“The industry viewpoint has been the commerce viewpoint since the fall of the Soviet Union, and they’re not able to make the adjustment that the world has changed,” said Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who advocates stronger export restrictions.“The industry capture is not, in my view, industry saying, ‘Hey, meet me at the Jefferson Memorial and I have a suitcase of money for you.’ It’s that these guys have been trained for 30 years to think that exports are good for America and that’s that,” Mr. Scissors said. “So surprise, they don’t want tighter export controls.”But distancing the bureau from industry may have repercussions, too. Critics say that without the guidance of industry on complex technological issues, regulations can easily backfire, harming the American economy while doing little to combat security threats from China. And any policy that hamstrings innovation could in turn hold back the American military, which acquires most of its technology from the private sector.John Neuffer, the chief executive of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said that China accounted for about one-third of his industry’s revenue, and that it would be “disastrous” for semiconductor companies to not have access to such a huge and growing market.“When you start cutting off capital profits that can flow into R&D, many of them coming from the huge Chinese market, you really undermine our ability to stay at the tip of the spear in terms of semiconductor innovation,” Mr. Neuffer said.“The sense of urgency in recent years inclined our leadership to make decisions without reference to what industry thought,” said Daniel H. Rosen, a founding partner of Rhodium Group. “We’re not going to serve the American interests if we don’t consider commercial interests and national security interests at the same time.”The Biden administration has already run into the political minefield surrounding the bureau. In her confirmation hearing in January, Gina Raimondo, the new secretary of commerce, attracted criticism from Republicans when she declined to commit to keeping Huawei on the bureau’s entity list. Ms. Raimondo later said that she would use the entity list “to its full effect,” and that Huawei and ZTE should be on the list.With Ms. Raimondo sworn in to her post this month, the Biden administration is considering candidates to lead the Bureau of Industry and Security. It has become a contentious process, a kind of proxy battle among trade advisers, industry groups and lawmakers of both parties for the future of the United States’ tech strategy.One early contender, Kevin Wolf, a partner in the international trade group at the law firm Akin Gump, has run into resistance from some China hawks in Washington over his industry ties. Mr. Wolf, who was previously assistant secretary at the bureau, issued the sanctions against ZTE. He has consistently argued that restrictions that are unclear and unpredictable can backfire, “harming the very interests they were designed to protect.”But critics have found fault with his work on behalf of industry since leaving the government, including counseling clients on what is permitted under Mr. Trump’s regulations, and trying to obtain licenses for his clients to supply products to Huawei and S.M.I.C.Mr. Wolf said that he had merely helped companies understand the new rules, as other export control lawyers do, and that it was the Trump administration that was responsible for creating a new process to grant companies licenses to supply products to listed entities. Some who believe the Bureau of Industry and Security requires a more fundamental transformation have instead pushed for James Mulvenon, an expert on the Chinese military at research firm Defense Group, who has publicly called for refocusing the bureau’s mandate to place national security interests before those “of Silicon Valley, Wall Street and other multinationals.”The administration may also be considering less prominent candidates for the bureau’s three Senate-confirmed posts, like Brian Nillson, a former employee of the Bureau of Industry and Security and the State Department, or export control lawyers like Douglas Jacobson and Greta Lichtenbaum, people familiar with the deliberations say.Whoever leads the bureau, officials at the National Security Council are likely to play a guiding role, according to people familiar with the deliberations. More

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    In Washington, ‘Free Trade’ Is No Longer Gospel

    Like its predecessor, the Biden administration has largely dispensed with the idea of free trade as a goal in and of itself.WASHINGTON — For decades, the principle of “free trade” inspired a kind of religious reverence among most American politicians. Lawmakers, diplomats and presidents justified their policies through the pursuit of freer trade, which, like the spread of democracy and market capitalism, was presumed to be a universal and worthy goal.But as the Biden administration establishes itself in Washington, that longstanding gospel is no longer the prevailing view.Political parties on both the right and left have shifted away from the conventional view that the primary goal of trade policy should be speeding flows of goods and services to lift economic growth. Instead, more politicians have zeroed in on the downsides of past trade deals, which greatly benefited some American workers but stripped others of their jobs.President Donald J. Trump embraced this rethinking on trade by threatening to scrap old deals that he said had sent jobs overseas and renegotiate new ones. His signature pacts, including with Canada, Mexico and China, ended up raising some barriers to trade rather than lowering them, including leaving hefty tariffs in place on Chinese products and more restrictions on auto imports into North America.The Biden administration appears poised to adopt a similar approach, with top officials like Katherine Tai, Mr. Biden’s nominee to run the Office of the United States Trade Representative, promising to focus more on ensuring that trade deals protect the rights and interests of American workers, rather than exporters or consumers.The Senate is expected to vote on Ms. Tai’s nomination on Wednesday, and supporters say she will be easily confirmed.Mr. Biden and his advisers have promised to review the impact that past trade policies have had on economic and racial inequality, and put negotiating new trade deals on the back burner while they focus on improving the domestic economy. And they have not yet made any moves to scale back Mr. Trump’s hefty tariffs on foreign products, saying that they are reviewing them, but that tariffs are a legitimate trade policy tool.In her hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 25, Ms. Tai emphasized that she would help usher in a break with past policies that would “pit one of our segments of our workers and our economy against another.”While Ms. Tai reassured senators that she would work with them to promote exports from their districts, she called for a policy that would focus more on how trade affects Americans as workers and wage earners.When asked by Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a Republican of Pennsylvania and a noted free trader, whether the goal of a trade agreement between two modern, developed economies should be the elimination of tariffs and trade barriers, Ms. Tai declined to agree, saying she would want to consider such agreements on a case-by-case basis.“Maybe if you’d asked me this question five or 10 years ago, I would have been inclined to say yes,” Ms. Tai responded. But after the events of the past few years — including the pandemic, the Trump administration’s trade wars and a failed effort by the Obama administration to negotiate a Pacific trade deal — “I think that our trade policies need to be nuanced, and need to take into account all the lessons that we have learned, many of them very painful, from our most recent history,” she said.Katherine Tai, the Biden administration’s nominee for trade representative, promised a break with past policies that had “pit one of our segments of our workers and our economy against another.”Pool photo by Bill O’LearyIn his first major foreign policy speech on March 3, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also said that the calculus on free trade had changed.“Some of us previously argued for free trade agreements because we believed Americans would broadly share in the economic gains,” he said. “But we didn’t do enough to understand who would be negatively affected and what would be needed to adequately offset their pain.”“Our approach now will be different,” Mr. Blinken said.Clyde Prestowitz, a U.S. negotiator in the Reagan administration, called the administration’s statements on trade “a revolution.” While Robert E. Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s trade representative, also parted with the conventional wisdom on trade, he was seen as an exception, a former steel industry lawyer steeped in protectionism, said Mr. Prestowitz.“Now here is Ms. Tai, with a mostly government official career behind her, talking without making any of the formerly necessary gestures toward the sanctity and multitudinous bounties of free trade,” Mr. Prestowitz said. “The conventional wisdom on trade no longer has an iron grip on policymakers and thinkers.”Like Ms. Tai and Mr. Lighthizer, many past presidents and trade officials emphasized fair trade and the idea of holding foreign countries accountable for breaking trade rules. But many also paid homage to the conventional wisdom that free trade itself was a worthy goal because it could help lift the economic fortunes of all countries and enhance global stability by linking economies.That idea reached the height of its popularity under the presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, where the United States negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, led the talks that gave the World Trade Organization its modern format, granted China permanent normal trading relations, and sealed a series of trade agreements with countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.President Barack Obama initially put less emphasis on free trade deals, instead focusing on the financial crisis and the Affordable Care Act. But in his second term, his administration pushed to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which came under criticism from progressive Democrats for exposing American workers to foreign competition. The deal never won sufficient support in Congress.For Democrats, the downfall of that deal was a turning point, propelling them toward their new consensus on trade. Some, like Dani Rodrik, a professor of political economy at Harvard, argue that recent trade deals have largely not been about cutting tariffs or trade barriers at all, and instead were focused on locking in advantages for pharmaceutical companies and international banks.David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that economic theory had never claimed that trade makes everybody better off — it had said that trade would raise overall economic output, but lead to gains and losses for different groups.But economists and politicians alike underestimated how jarring some of those losses could be. Mr. Autor’s influential research shows that expanded trade with China led to the loss of 2.4 million American jobs between 1999 and 2011. China’s growing dominance of a variety of global industries, often accomplished through hefty government subsidies, also weakened the argument that the United States could succeed through free markets alone.Today, “people are much more sensitive to the idea that trade can have very, very disruptive effects,” Mr. Autor said. “There’s no amount of everyday low prices at Walmart that is going to make up for unemployment.”But Mr. Autor said that while the old consensus was “simplistic and harmful,” turning away from the ideal of free trade held dangers too. “Once you open this terrain, lots of terrible policies and expensive subsidies can all march in under the banner of the protection of the American worker,” he said.Some have argued that the approach could forgo important economic gains.William Reinsch, the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote that Americans had come to understand that the argument that “a rising tide would lift all boats” is not always correct.“A rising tide does not lift all boats; it only lifts some boats, and for a long time, workers’ boats have been stuck in the muck while the owners’ yachts flow free,” he wrote. However, Mr. Reinsch added, “no tide lifts no boats. In economic terms, if we forgo the expansion of trade, we do not get the benefits trade provides, and there is nothing to distribute.”Workers making iron bars in a steel factory in China last month.Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesIt remains to be seen how much the Biden administration will adhere to the Trump administration’s more protectionist policies — like keeping the tariffs on foreign metals and products from China.While the Biden administration has tried to distance its trade policy from that of the previous administration, many former Trump administration officials say the direction appears remarkably similar.In an interview in January, Mr. Lighthizer said that the Trump administration had reoriented trade policy away from the interests of multinational businesses and the Chamber of Commerce and toward working-class people and manufacturing, goals that Democrats also support. He said the Biden administration would try to make trade policy look like their own, but ultimately “stay pretty close.”“The goal is creating communities and families of working people, rather than promoting corporate profits,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “I think the outlines of what we’ve done will stay. They will try to Biden-ize it, make it their own, which they should do, but I’d be surprised if they back away from the great outline of what we’ve done and how we’ve changed the policy.”Ms. Tai has acknowledged some similarities between the Biden and Trump administration’s goals, but emphasized the difference in their tactics.In her confirmation hearing, she said that she shared the Trump administration’s goal of bringing supply chains back to America, but that the prior administration’s policies had created “a lot of disruption and consternation.”“I’d want to accomplish similar goals in a more effective, process-driven manner,” she said. More

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    Two Decades After the ‘End of Welfare,’ Democrats Are Changing Direction

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesRisk Near YouVaccine RolloutGuidelines After VaccinationAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyTwo Decades After the ‘End of Welfare,’ Democrats Are Changing DirectionThe pandemic and a set of other economic and social forces changed the calculation for Democrats when it comes to government aid. The question now is how long the moment will last.A tent encampment in Phoenix last week. Rising inequality and stagnant incomes over much of the past two decades left a growing share of working Americans concerned about making ends meet.Credit…Juan Arredondo for The New York TimesJim Tankersley and March 13, 2021Updated 6:07 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — A quarter-century ago, a Democratic president celebrated “the end of welfare as we know it,” challenging the poor to exercise “independence” and espousing balanced budgets and smaller government.The Democratic Party capped a march in the opposite direction this week.Its first major legislative act under President Biden was a deficit-financed, $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” filled with programs as broad as expanded aid to nearly every family with children and as targeted as payments to Black farmers. While providing an array of benefits to the middle class, it is also a poverty-fighting initiative of potentially historic proportions, delivering more immediate cash assistance to families at the bottom of the income scale than any federal legislation since at least the New Deal.Behind that shift is a realignment of economic, political and social forces, some decades in the making and others accelerated by the pandemic, that enabled a rapid advance in progressive priorities.Rising inequality and stagnant incomes over much of the past two decades left a growing share of Americans — of all races, in conservative states and liberal ones, in inner cities and small towns — concerned about making ends meet. New research documented the long-term damage from child poverty.An energized progressive vanguard pulled the Democrats leftward, not least Mr. Biden, who had campaigned as a moderating force.Concerns about deficit spending receded under Mr. Biden’s Republican predecessor, President Donald J. Trump, while populist strains in both parties led lawmakers to pay more attention to the frustrations of people struggling to get by — a development intensified by a pandemic recession that overwhelmingly hurt low-income workers and spared higher earners.A summer of protests against racial injustice, and a coalition led by Black voters that lifted Mr. Biden to the White House and helped give Democrats control of the Senate, put economic equity at the forefront of the new administration’s agenda.Whether the new law is a one-off culmination of those forces, or a down payment on even more ambitious efforts to address the nation’s challenges of poverty and opportunity, will be a defining battle for Democrats in the Biden era.A banner protesting the eviction of renters in Washington, D.C., in August. Emboldened by the crisis, many Democrats see a new opportunity to use government to address big problems.Credit…Eric Baradat/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesIn addition to trying to make permanent some of the temporary provisions in the package, Democrats hope to spend trillions of dollars to upgrade infrastructure, reduce the emissions that drive climate change, reduce the cost of college and child care, expand health coverage and guarantee paid leave and higher wages for workers.The new Democratic stance is “a long cry from the days of ‘big government is over,’” said Margaret Weir, a political scientist at Brown University.In the eyes of its backers, the law is not just one of the most far-reaching packages of economic and social policy in a generation. It is also, they say, the beginning of an opportunity for Democrats to unite a new majority in a deeply polarized country, built around a renewed belief in government.“Next to civil rights, voting rights and open housing in the ’60s, and maybe next to the Affordable Care Act — maybe — this is the biggest thing Congress has done since the New Deal,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio and a longtime champion of the antipoverty efforts included in Mr. Biden’s plan.“People more and more realize that government can be on their side,” he said, “and now it is.”Conservatives are hardly giving up the battle over what some call a giant welfare expansion. Democrats face high hurdles to any further ambitious legislation, starting with the Senate filibuster, which requires most legislation to get 60 votes, and the precarious nature of the party’s Senate majority. Moderate Democrats are already resisting further growth of the budget deficit.But emboldened by the crisis, many Democrats see a new opportunity to use government to address big problems.In addition to the new legislation being broadly popular with voters, an intensified focus on worker struggles on both the left and the right, including Republicans’ increasing efforts to define themselves as a party of the working class, has scrambled the politics of economic policy across the ideological spectrum.Mr. Biden ran as a centrist in a Democratic Party where many activists had embraced progressive candidates like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But he will spend the coming weeks traveling the country to promote policies like his expansion of the child tax credit, a one-year, $100-billion benefit that most Democrats hope to turn into what was once a distant progressive dream: guaranteed income for families with children.The $1.9 trillion aid package signed by President Biden is broadly popular with voters, and Republicans are divided over how — and whether — to attack its main provisions.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York TimesRepublicans have struggled to attack the full range of policies contained in Mr. Biden’s rescue plan, especially those like direct payments of up to $1,400 per person and expanded health care subsidies that benefit many of their constituents. Party leaders are trying to change the subject to issues like immigration.A Republican National Committee news release this week denounced the rescue plan’s expansion of the national debt, its funding for liberal states and cities like San Francisco and $1.7 billion in aid to Amtrak, but made no mention of the expanded child tax credit that will provide most families with monthly payments of up to $300 per child.Some prominent conservatives have welcomed the antipoverty provisions, applauding them as pro-family even though they violate core tenets of the Republican Party’s decades-long position that government aid is a disincentive to work.The Coronavirus Outbreak More

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    Biden Plans Messaging Blitz to Sell Economic Aid Plan

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }Biden’s Stimulus PlanWhat to Know About the BillSenate PassageWhat the Senate Changed$15 Minimum WageChild Tax CreditAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyBiden Plans Messaging Blitz to Sell Economic Aid PlanDrawing on a lesson from early in the Obama administration, the White House wants to tell voters how the legislation will help them and keep Republicans from defining it on their terms.President Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, answered questions from reporters on Saturday after the Senate vote to approve a $1.9 trillion relief package.Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesJim Tankersley and March 10, 2021Updated 7:23 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — President Biden is planning an aggressive campaign to tell voters about the benefits for them in the $1.9 trillion economic relief package that won final congressional approval on Wednesday, an attempt to ensure that he and his fellow Democrats get full political credit for the first big victory of his administration.The effort will start with Mr. Biden’s scheduled prime-time address to the nation on Thursday and include travel by the president and Vice President Kamala Harris across multiple states, events with a wide range of cabinet members emphasizing themes of the legislation and endorsements from Republican mayors, administration officials said on Wednesday.The White House’s decision to get out and sell the package after its passage reflects a lesson from the early months of the Obama administration. In 2009, fighting to help the economy recover from a crippling financial crisis, President Barack Obama never succeeded in building durable popular support for a similar stimulus bill and allowed Republicans to define it on their terms, fueling a partisan backlash and the rise of the Tea Party movement.Mr. Biden starts with the advantage that the legislation, which he is set to sign on Friday, is widely popular in national polling. And it will deliver a series of tangible benefits to low- and middle-income Americans, including direct payments of $1,400 per individual, just as the economy’s halting recovery from the pandemic recession is poised to accelerate.Speaking briefly to reporters on Wednesday, the president called the legislation “a historic, historic victory for the American people.”After his address from the Oval Office on Thursday night, Mr. Biden will headline a public relations effort over several weeks that aides say will involve his entire cabinet and White House communications officials, and support from like-minded business and policy organizations and political supporters at all levels around the country. The White House announced on Wednesday that Mr. Biden would visit the Philadelphia suburbs next week.Unlike President Donald J. Trump, who loved to serve at times as a singular pitchman for the economic policies under his administration, Mr. Biden will lead an all-hands effort.It is a striking contrast to the strategy pursued by the Obama administration, when Mr. Biden was vice president. Mr. Obama’s first major legislative victory was a nearly $800 billion stimulus bill that passed with the backing of a majority of voters, but it lost support over time.Mr. Biden was still trying to sell voters on the benefits of that plan in 2016, near the end of his time as vice president. He told congressional Democrats this month that the administration had “paid a price” for failing to better market the bill early on.Mr. Obama struggled in part because the economy was still contracting when his plan passed, and its rollout was overshadowed by an arduously slow recovery from recession. “President Obama gave speech after speech” to sell his stimulus plan, Dan Pfeiffer, who was a White House communications director under Mr. Obama, wrote this week. “He visited factory after factory that had reopened because of the Recovery Act. But it was nearly impossible to break through the avalanche of bad news.”The circumstances appear to be different this year. Democrats are buoyed by polls that show Mr. Biden’s relief package winning as much as three-quarters support from voters nationwide, including large swaths of Republicans, even after a month of attacks from congressional Republicans who voted in unison against its passage in both the House and the Senate.More than 7 in 10 Americans backed Mr. Biden’s aid package as of last month, according to polling from the online research firm SurveyMonkey for The New York Times. That includes support from three-quarters of independent voters, 2 in 5 Republicans and nearly all Democrats. A poll released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found similar support.Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Biden’s main message would echo his campaign theme: “Help is on the way.”Credit…Doug Mills/The New York TimesThe Biden team also appears to have economic circumstances working in its favor. Job growth accelerated in February, Mr. Biden’s first full month in office. Forecasters expect economic growth to speed up even more in the months to come because of the increasingly widespread deployment of Covid-19 vaccines across the country, which should allow consumers to start spending more on activities like traveling or dining out, which many have cut back on over the past year because of the pandemic.Forecasters expect the relief package to further fuel growth, in part by shuttling money to low- and middle-income Americans who disproportionately lost jobs and incomes in the crisis. The O.E.C.D. predicted this week that the Biden plan would help the United States economy grow at a 6.5 percent rate this year, which would be its fastest annual clip since the early 1980s.The timing of the bill could bolster Mr. Biden’s attempts to claim credit for that rebound, even though forecasters were projecting a return to growth — albeit a smaller one than they now predict — before he took office. Mr. Trump did something similar in 2017: Growth had slowed in early 2016, but it had begun to improve in the second half of that year, before Mr. Trump won the White House. Yet he persistently claimed he had engineered the greatest economy in American history.Still, Biden administration officials are mindful that political opposition could easily fester and grow if they do not clearly explain the contents — and direct benefits — of a bill that will be the second-largest economic aid package in American history, trailing only the initial bill that lawmakers approved under Mr. Trump last year as the worsening pandemic pushed the nation into recession. .css-yoay6m{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-yoay6m{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-1dg6kl4{margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;}.css-k59gj9{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;width:100%;}.css-1e2usoh{font-family:inherit;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;border-top:1px solid #ccc;padding:10px 0px 10px 0px;background-color:#fff;}.css-1jz6h6z{font-family:inherit;font-weight:bold;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.5rem;text-align:left;}.css-1t412wb{box-sizing:border-box;margin:8px 15px 0px 15px;cursor:pointer;}.css-hhzar2{-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform ease 0.5s;-webkit-transition:transform ease 0.5s;transition:transform ease 0.5s;}.css-t54hv4{-webkit-transform:rotate(180deg);-ms-transform:rotate(180deg);transform:rotate(180deg);}.css-1r2j9qz{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-e1ipqs{font-size:1rem;line-height:1.5rem;padding:0px 30px 0px 0px;}.css-e1ipqs a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-e1ipqs a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1o76pdf{visibility:show;height:100%;padding-bottom:20px;}.css-1sw9s96{visibility:hidden;height:0px;}#masthead-bar-one{display:none;}#masthead-bar-one{display:none;}.css-1cz6wm{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;font-family:’nyt-franklin’,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;text-align:left;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1cz6wm{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-1cz6wm:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-1cz6wm{border:none;padding:20px 0 0;border-top:1px solid #121212;}Frequently Asked Questions About the New Stimulus PackageThe stimulus payments would be $1,400 for most recipients. Those who are eligible would also receive an identical payment for each of their children. To qualify for the full $1,400, a single person would need an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or below. For heads of household, adjusted gross income would need to be $112,500 or below, and for married couples filing jointly that number would need to be $150,000 or below. To be eligible for a payment, a person must have a Social Security number. Read more. Buying insurance through the government program known as COBRA would temporarily become a lot cheaper. COBRA, for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, generally lets someone who loses a job buy coverage via the former employer. But it’s expensive: Under normal circumstances, a person may have to pay at least 102 percent of the cost of the premium. Under the relief bill, the government would pay the entire COBRA premium from April 1 through Sept. 30. A person who qualified for new, employer-based health insurance someplace else before Sept. 30 would lose eligibility for the no-cost coverage. And someone who left a job voluntarily would not be eligible, either. Read moreThis credit, which helps working families offset the cost of care for children under 13 and other dependents, would be significantly expanded for a single year. More people would be eligible, and many recipients would get a bigger break. The bill would also make the credit fully refundable, which means you could collect the money as a refund even if your tax bill was zero. “That will be helpful to people at the lower end” of the income scale, said Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. Read more.There would be a big one for people who already have debt. You wouldn’t have to pay income taxes on forgiven debt if you qualify for loan forgiveness or cancellation — for example, if you’ve been in an income-driven repayment plan for the requisite number of years, if your school defrauded you or if Congress or the president wipes away $10,000 of debt for large numbers of people. This would be the case for debt forgiven between Jan. 1, 2021, and the end of 2025. Read more.The bill would provide billions of dollars in rental and utility assistance to people who are struggling and in danger of being evicted from their homes. About $27 billion would go toward emergency rental assistance. The vast majority of it would replenish the so-called Coronavirus Relief Fund, created by the CARES Act and distributed through state, local and tribal governments, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. That’s on top of the $25 billion in assistance provided by the relief package passed in December. To receive financial assistance — which could be used for rent, utilities and other housing expenses — households would have to meet several conditions. Household income could not exceed 80 percent of the area median income, at least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability, and individuals would have to qualify for unemployment benefits or have experienced financial hardship (directly or indirectly) because of the pandemic. Assistance could be provided for up to 18 months, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Lower-income families that have been unemployed for three months or more would be given priority for assistance. Read more.Republicans continued to attack the bill on the House floor on Wednesday, casting it as overly expensive, ineffectively targeted and bloated with longstanding liberal priorities unrelated to the pandemic.“Because Democrats chose to prioritize their political ambitions instead of the working class,” Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, said in a news release, “they just passed the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons.”Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, one of the few Democrats in the chamber to represent a state Mr. Biden lost to Mr. Trump in 2020, called the Republican attacks “lies” and said they showed why Democrats needed to remind voters of the benefits to people and businesses included in the bill.“You’ve got to sell it, because they’re going to lie about everything,” Mr. Brown said. “The sale is an easy sell, but you need to continue to remind” voters about the contents of the package, he said.With that in mind, Mr. Biden is scheduled to follow his speech on Thursday with travel to states led by both Democratic and Republican governors in the coming weeks to begin the sales pitch. Among the options being considered, if they can be done safely during the pandemic, are town-hall-style events that allow the president to directly take questions from people.The main message, according to Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, will be an echo of one of Mr. Biden’s chief campaign promises: “Help is on the way.”The president’s political and communications advisers have identified 10 themes that they want to tackle, one by one, in the days and weeks ahead. They include food insecurity, child poverty, bolstering rural health care, school reopening, help for veterans and help for small businesses.“We’ll be emphasizing a number of components that are in the package and really having a conversation,” Ms. Psaki said. “This is important to the president personally, having a conversation directly with people about how they can benefit, addressing questions they have, even taking their feedback on implementation.”AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More

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    To Juice the Economy, Biden Bets on the Poor

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Jobs CrisisCurrent Unemployment RateWhen the Checks Run OutThe Economy in 9 ChartsThe First 6 MonthsAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storynews analysisTo Juice the Economy, Biden Bets on the PoorMr. Biden’s bottom-up $1.9 trillion aid package is a sharp reversal from the tax cut bill that was President Donald J. Trump’s first big legislative victory.Volunteers distributing food on Monday in Warren, Mich. President Biden’s economic relief plan overwhelmingly helps low earners and the middle class and is more focused on people than on businesses.Credit…Elaine Cromie for The New York TimesPublished More

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    Biden and China: Administration Rethinks Relations

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Presidential InaugurationHighlightsPhotos From the DayBiden’s SpeechWho Attended?Biden’s Long RoadAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyBiden on ‘Short Leash’ as Administration Rethinks China RelationsThe Biden administration is under intense pressure to maintain former President Donald J. Trump’s curbs on China, even as it tries to develop a more comprehensive and effective strategy.President Biden faces an enormous challenge in trying to formulate a strategy to deal with China at a time when much of Washington treats any relations with Beijing as toxic.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York TimesFeb. 17, 2021, 2:22 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — Biden administration officials have tried to project a tough line on China in their first weeks in office, depicting the authoritarian government as an economic and security challenge to the United States that requires a far more strategic and calculated approach than that of the Trump administration.They have also tried to send a message: While the administration will be staffed by many familiar faces from the Obama administration, China policy will not revert to what it was a decade ago.These early efforts have not concealed the enormous challenge President Biden faces in trying to formulate a strategy to deal with China at a time when any relations with Beijing are treated as thoroughly toxic in Washington. Political adversaries, including Republican lawmakers, have already begun scrutinizing the statements of Mr. Biden’s advisers, ready to pounce on any effort to roll back President Donald J. Trump’s punishments, including tariffs and bans on exporting technology.Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas, has placed a hold on the confirmation of Gina Raimondo, Mr. Biden’s nominee for commerce secretary, delaying a vote on her confirmation, for declining to explicitly commit to keeping the Chinese telecom company Huawei on a national security blacklist. Some Republican lawmakers have also criticized Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Mr. Biden’s pick for U.N. ambassador, for giving a speech at a Confucius Institute, an organization some have described as disseminating Chinese propaganda, and painting a rosy picture of China’s activities in Africa.Several Republicans, including Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, also put out statements last week criticizing a move by the Biden administration to withdraw a rule proposed during the Trump administration that would require universities to disclose their financial ties to Confucius Institutes, organizations set up to teach Chinese language and culture in American schools.“The Biden administration is going to be on a very short leash with respect to doing anything that is perceived as giving China a break,” said Wendy Cutler, a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former U.S. trade negotiator.Mr. Trump’s supporters credit him with taking a far more aggressive approach than his predecessors to policing China, including dusting off many rarely used policy tools. That includes placing major tariffs on Chinese goods, limiting Beijing’s access to sensitive American technology exports, imposing sanctions on Chinese officials and companies over human rights violations and securing economic concessions from China as part of a trade deal.But Mr. Trump’s critics, including many in the Biden administration, say his spate of executive orders and other actions were inconsistent and piecemeal, and often more symbolic than effective.Even as Mr. Trump issued harsh punishments on some fronts, he also extended a lifeline to the Chinese telecom company ZTE, delayed sanctions related to human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region and publicly flattered President Xi Jinping of China as he sought his trade deal. Many of the executive actions Mr. Trump took against China were left incomplete, or were riddled with loopholes.And his policies may have worsened American competitiveness in some areas, according to a report published Wednesday by the consulting firm Rhodium Group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce China Center. The report found steep costs from the kind of economic “decoupling” that Mr. Trump pursued, including a $190 billion annual loss in American economic output by 2025 if all U.S.-China trade was subject to the type of 25 percent tariff that Mr. Trump imposed on $250 billion of Chinese goods.Daniel Rosen, a founding partner at Rhodium Group, said the Biden administration needed to consider more than politics or ideology when forging China policy, including carefully weighing the cost of its approach to industry.“Obviously politics is king right here in this moment, with nobody in leadership or aspiring to leadership wanting to get outflanked on who is tough on China,” he said. “We’re not going to serve the American interests if we don’t consider commercial interests and national security interests at the same time.”The Biden administration has argued that by being more strategic in how it addresses China, it will ultimately be more effective than the Trump administration. It has laid out an ambitious task as it looks to not only crack down on China for what it sees as unfair trade practices but also develop a national strategy that helps build up America’s economic position to better counter Chinese competition.Speaking at the Atlantic Council in late January, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said the United States first needed to “refurbish the fundamental foundations of our democracy” by dealing with issues like economic and racial inequity, as well as making investments in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and clean energy.Mr. Biden has also emphasized the importance of working with allies and international institutions to impose a tougher global stance, so companies do not sidestep strict American rules by taking their operations offshore.Mr. Biden held his first call with Mr. Xi on Feb. 10, in which he talked about preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific and shared concerns about Beijing’s economic and human rights practices, according to a White House readout.In a town hall-style forum broadcast by CNN on Tuesday night, Mr. Biden, who knows Mr. Xi well from meetings during the Obama administration, said he had taken a tough line on human rights and other issues during their two-hour call.“There will be repercussions for China, and he knows that,” Mr. Biden said. “What I’m doing is making clear that we, in fact, are going to continue to reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the U.N. and other — other agencies that have an impact on their attitude.”Mr. Biden has begun staffing his cabinet with officials who have deep experience with China. Katherine Tai, the Biden administration’s nominee for trade representative, was in charge of litigating cases against China at the World Trade Organization during the Obama administration, and has promised to take a tough line on enforcing American trade rules.President Donald J. Trump criticizing the government of China in May at the White House. Mr. Trump’s supporters credit him with taking a far more aggressive approach than his predecessors to policing China.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York TimesMr. Biden’s top foreign policy advisers have also espoused views critical of China’s practices, though many see potential for cooperation on issues like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change. That includes Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Mr. Sullivan and Kurt Campbell, the National Security Council’s “Asia czar.”Ms. Raimondo, the commerce secretary nominee, will also have purview over economic relations with China, particularly those related to technology. While she had harsh words for China during her confirmation hearing, her refusal to commit to keeping Huawei on a government blacklist drew criticism from Republican lawmakers like Mr. Cruz.Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who is expected to play a pivotal role in relations with China, took a hawkish tone at her confirmation hearing last month, vowing to use the “full array” of America’s tools to combat “illegal, unfair and abusive” practices. She has also criticized China’s practices of stealing intellectual property and subsidizing state-owned enterprises, but said she did not regard Mr. Trump’s tariffs as “the proper focus” of trade policy.The new administration has given few concrete details about how it will put its strategy into practice, including whether it will implement the many China-related executive orders Mr. Trump introduced, like new restrictions on investments in Chinese companies with ties to the military and bans on Chinese-owned apps, like TikTok, WeChat and Alipay. Instead, the administration has said it would carry out a comprehensive review of Mr. Trump’s tariffs, export controls and other restrictions before making decisions.Another uncertainty is how Mr. Biden and his team will handle Mr. Trump’s initial trade deal with China given that Beijing continues to fall short of its promise to buy hundreds of billions of dollars in American products. The administration may face the choice of using the deal’s enforcement mechanisms — which include consultations and more tariffs for Chinese products — or scrapping the agreement altogether.Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser in Chinese business and economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Biden administration had clear foreign policy goals and a large toolbox of measures at its disposal, but had not yet “figured out how to merge strategy and tactics.”On American competitiveness with China, “there’s a much larger conversation that needs to be had,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Are they going to be willing to engage in that conversation and do that thorough analysis and come up with something new? Or are they going to be fearful of political backlash and pull their punches?”Mr. Biden’s plan to engage more closely with U.S. allies to put pressure on China may also be easier said than done.In an interview in January, shortly before he left office, Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s top trade official, pointed to a recent investment agreement the European Union signed with China, against the wishes of the Biden administration, as “the first piece of evidence” that such multilateral cooperation would be difficult.Chinese officials are already strengthening ties with U.S. allies like New Zealand and South Korea in an effort “to divide and conquer,” Ms. Cutler said.China has emerged from the early stages of the pandemic emboldened, with its factories and businesses outpacing those in the United States and Europe, where the coronavirus continues to hamper the economy. While Chinese leaders are seeking to reset relations with Washington after a tumultuous period under Mr. Trump, they have continued to make sometimes hard-edge statements.In an interview with CBS News on Feb. 7, Mr. Biden said the two countries “need not have a conflict. But there’s going to be extreme competition.”“I’m not going to do it the way Trump did,” Mr. Biden added. “We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”Alan Rappeport More