CWR > Volume 7(1); 2021 > Prof. Malawer’s US-China Trade Commentary
Research Paper
Published online: March 1, 2021

Biden, National Security, Law & Global Trade: Less Subterfuge & More Strategy in the New Era of Crisis

Stuart S. Malawer
George Mason’s University Schar School of Policy and Government
3351 Fairfax Dr., MS 3B1, Arlington, Virginia 22201 USA.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The US has entered a new era of crisis. President Biden has just been inaugurated. He faces historical challenges to return the US to global leadership. The primacy purpose of this article is to discuss national security and trade policy in the new Biden administration. First, I look at the historic and dubious claims made by the Trump administration in utilizing national security as a cover for protectionist trade actions, as well as at the federal court cases addressing these claims. I then assess the cases that have come before the WTO over the last two years, raising for first time the issue of the national security exception under GATT Article XXI. Finally, I conclude that President Biden’s overwhelming priority is to resurrect American democracy and alliances. But he will also need to address a broad range of trade issues and to restrict reliance on national security as a cover for populist and protectionist policies.

Keywords : Biden, National Security Exception, GATT Article XXI, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962

View the Full Text