Biden Administration Seeking Input on Improving Competitiveness of Clean Tech Exports

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Trade Update • September 14, 2021

TThe U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration recently announced that it is seeking stakeholder input as, in partnership with the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, it develops a strategy to encourage U.S. exports of technologies that can replace the use of carbon-intensive products in the global market.

President Joe Biden has made tackling the climate crisis a priority, along with the promotion of American-made clean energy technologies to “outcompete China” and the rest of the world.

Citing the president’s January executive order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, that “puts climate considerations at the forefront of United States foreign policy and national security,” the ITA says it “intends to integrate such considerations into its export promotion work.”

This includes efforts under the administration’s Build Back Better economic recovery plan, which looks to “mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in all of America by all of America’s workers.”

Scope of ‘Clean Technologies’

Noting that clean technologies “is a broad term that can encompass a range of technologies used to address a variety of environmental issues,” the solicitation seeks public input on both established and emerging technologies “that can contribute to a transition to net-zero emissions by significantly removing or reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a specific application compared to existing, carbon-intensive technology in the same application.”

Sorted according to their ability to reduce GHGs in broad economic sectors identified by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the technologies include:

  • Electricity and heat production (25% of global direct GHG emissions);
  • Agriculture, forestry, and other land use (24%);
  • Industry (21%);
  • Transportation (14%);
  • Other energy emissions not directly associated with electricity or heat production, such as fuel extraction, refining, processing, and transportation (9.6%); and
  • Buildings (6.4%).

Policy Questions

To improve its understanding of private sector interests, concerns, and policy needs with respect to the potential for exports of clean technologies, the ITC is looking to answer more than a dozen questions. These cover issues such as how technologies and services are designated as “clean,” and which of those technologies offer the strongest near-term benefits, as compared to those that might take five years or more to have a positive impact.

Respondents also are encouraged to identify technologies/services in which the U.S. currently has a competitive edge and those where it lags behind (also indicating the reason(s) why). Finally, the solicitation asks for public input on what roadblocks and barriers currently exist to improving U.S. competitiveness, along with any suggestions as to how they can be removed.

How to Comment

Comments, identified by docket ITA-2021-0005, must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST on October 1, 2021.

It is “strongly preferred” that submissions be made via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, although comments can also be submitted via email to

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