On August 11, PhRMA submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) containing recommendations on how to advance an inclusive and worker-centered trade agenda, objectives established by the Biden Administration. In addition to providing concrete and worker-centered recommendations, PhRMA’s comments demonstrate how USTR’s policies harm U.S. workers and fail to achieve the Administration’s own objectives.
The submission highlights five key areas:
1. The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry employs a highly diverse workforce and is a leading employer of female inventors. Women and racial minorities accounted for nearly 60% and 80%, respectively, of all U.S. biopharma manufacturing jobs created over the last 5 years.
2. The industry is a key driver of the U.S. economy, with direct output exceeding $700 billion annually. The industry supports nearly 4.5 million U.S. jobs and employs more manufacturers than each of the iron and steel, aerospace, petroleum and coal, and electric equipment and appliances industries.
3. The industry’s diverse U.S. workforce depends on robust international trade and investment policies. Due to longstanding U.S. trade policies that value innovation, protect intellectual property (IP) rights and champion open trade, the innovative biopharma industry exported $89 billion in medicines in 2022 and attracted $148 billion in foreign investment into the United States over the past five years.
4. The Administration’s trade policies harm America’s biopharmaceutical workers and fail to advance a more inclusive and worker-centered trade agenda. USTR has refused to negotiate new and meaningful trade agreements, prioritized unambitious economic dialogues like IPEF, supported foreign efforts to undermine American IP with the TRIPS waiver and failed to dismantle trade barriers at the World Trade Organization.
5. A more inclusive and worker-centered trade agenda must prioritize innovation, protect IP and champion open trade. This Administration’s misguided trade policies harm the very workers and communities that the Administration claims to want to help by depriving those workers of opportunities to compete in the global economy, reap the benefits of American innovation and labor without fear of foreign theft of American IP.
As the data in PhRMA’s comments demonstrate, the U.S. innovative biopharmaceutical industry provides significant opportunities for American workers engaged in research, invention and manufacturing to compete successfully in the global economy. Unfortunately, the Administration’s trade policy fails to promote — and often actively harms — this major U.S. industry, disadvantaging its hundreds of thousands of workers, their families and their communities. USTR should prioritize trade policies that support the large and diverse U.S. workforce engaged in the development and production of lifesaving medicines.
Go deeper by reading our comment letter to USTR and infographic.