As international actors, notably the European Union, begin to codify the next generation of their own climate change mitigation policies, the United States needs to explore which policy responses are most feasible within both multilateral frameworks and the domestic political atmosphere. Early action by the administration suggests its prioritization of climate change includes a protectionist tilt in its trade policy that aligns with a growing view in the U.S. Congress that the government must do more to support innovation in green technology and key industries in response to the climate crisis, as well as to better compete with China. Such a tilt may make the process of reaching international agreement on a common approach to climate trade policy more difficult. However, both the Biden administration and the political climate, including Republicans in Congress, favor incentives over compulsory regulatory measures. This paper, the first of two, analyzes the domestic politics at the nexus of the Biden-Harris administration’s policies on trade and climate. The second paper will analyze the diversity of views among climate and trade policymakers and how they intersect with those in Europe and China.