U.S.-China Trade Talks Should Resume, U.S. Business Groups Say
A group of America’s most influential business groups urges the Biden administration to resume trade talks with China and reduce tariffs on Chinese-made products that remained in place after the start of the deadly trade war between the United States. two countries.
The groups, which represented interests as diverse as potato growers, microchip companies and the pharmaceutical industry, said in a letter dated Thursday that the Biden administration should take “swift action” to combat “heavy” tariffs. They also called on the White House to work with the Chinese government to ensure it meets the commitments made in its trade truce with the Trump administration, sealed in early 2020.
The letter, addressed to the Treasury Department and the United States’ trade representative, comes as relations between the world’s two largest economies remain strained. A high-profile visit to China last month by Assistant Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman began with scathing opening remarks from the Chinese side and ended with little sign of progress. The two argued over human rights, cyber attacks and Chinese military operations in the South China Sea.
While the Biden administration has crafted a strategy of confrontation with China on a range of issues, it has said less about the countries’ economic relations.
It’s more than seven months after the review began on the trade deal former President Donald J. Trump signed with China in January 2020, along with other national security measures from the previous administration. . Officials have not yet announced the results of this review.
The January 2020 trade truce essentially froze U.S. tariffs on $ 360 billion in Chinese imports. The deal also did nothing to stop Chinese government subsidies to strategic industries such as computer chips and electric cars, which worry U.S. competitors. Although some of the provisions of the trade agreement expire at the end of the year, much of the agreement will remain in place.
The industry group’s letter appeared to be an attempt to get the Biden administration to act.
“As a result of tariffs, US industries face increased costs to manufacture products and provide services domestically, making their exports of these products and services less competitive abroad,” it reads. the letter, which was reviewed by the New York Times.
The Treasury Department and the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately comment. The existence of the letter was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.
The letter said China had honored some of its commitments under the trade deal, including further steps to open its market to US financial institutions. He added that continuing talks would be the only way to ensure that China meets remaining commitments in other sectors, such as intellectual property protection.
Although China has made large-scale purchases of US goods since the trade war, the amount and mix have not met its commitments to purchase $ 200 billion worth of US goods and services in 2020 and 2021. According to Peterson Institute for International analysis On the economic front, China has fallen behind these purchases by 40% last year and 30% this year.
“We strongly urge the administration to work with the Chinese government to increase purchases of American goods until the end of 2021 and to implement all structural commitments of the agreement before its second anniversary on February 15, 2022,” adds the letter.
While the Biden administration has questioned whether the trade deal with China is well crafted, it has also signaled that it will continue to push China over what it perceives to be unfair trade practices.
In June, President Biden expanded a Trump administration blacklist that barred Americans from investing in Chinese companies that aid the country’s military or suppress religious minorities. Mr Biden has included Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant, on the list of banned companies. The White House also announced the formation of a trade and technology council with U.S. and European officials, an effort to counter China’s influence by coordinating digital policies between Brussels and Washington.
“We will not hesitate to speak out against China’s coercive and unfair trade practices that harm American workers, undermine the multilateral system or violate basic human rights,” Katherine Tai, United States trade representative, said in testimony. prepared for a Senate hearing in May. “We are working on a strong strategic approach to our trade and economic relations with China. “
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