Trump’s China trade deal a ‘starting point’ for Biden
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday presented her vision for trade relations between the world’s two greatest economic powers and admitted that there is a zero-sum dynamic where China’s economic prosperity comes at the expense of workers and economic opportunities in the United States.
“We need to take a new holistic and pragmatic approach to our relationship,” Tai said in a discussion with Bill Reinsch, Senior Advisor and Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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She added that the Trump trade deal is “the starting point” for talks and the administration “will have to determine where the relationship goes from the start.”
Tai said China will be required to honor commitments it made under the phase one trade deal that benefits some industries, but the administration plans to remove some tariffs that did not produce strategic advantages and increased costs for Americans.
The administration also plans to tackle state-centric, non-market business practices, including support for state-owned enterprises and theft of US intellectual property.
The plan calls for working with American allies and partners instead of taking the one-sided approach preferred by the Trump administration. Tai’s office said the Trump administration’s one-sided approach “has alienated our allies and partners and harmed certain sectors of the US economy.”
Tai has spoken to Liu He, his Chinese counterpart, once since his appointment, but has not discussed China’s intention to honor its end of the deal.
So far, China has lagged behind the commitments it made under the landmark trade pact signed in January 2020.
Beijing has agreed to buy an additional $ 200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, and also included pledges to end intellectual property theft, refrain from currency manipulation, and cooperate in the field of financial services.
However, a recent evaluation of the agreement, conducted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, found that Beijing is behind on its commitments.
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Chinese import data shows the country has purchased $ 89.4 billion in U.S. goods since the deal began, 69 percent of the August target of $ 129.9 billion. Beijing has pledged to import $ 207.4 billion worth of goods this year.
China is even further behind on its commitment when it uses US trade figures. Export data shows that $ 70.6 billion in goods, or 62 percent of the target of $ 113 billion, was shipped to China through August. The deal sees the United States exporting $ 193.3 billion worth of goods by the end of 2021.