US Must Find New Tools to Defend Against China, Trade Chief Says

(Bloomberg) – The United States must use all available tools and develop new ones to defend its interests and economic values ​​against China’s unfair practices after the talks showed clear limits to the country’s willingness to respect its past commitments, President Joe Biden’s trade chief said.

The United States, through direct talks with Chinese leaders beginning in October 2021, has urged Beijing to honor the so-called phase one trade deal reached with the Trump administration, the U.S. trade representative said. Katherine Tai in testimony prepared for a Senate panel hearing on Wednesday. . But several rounds of “difficult talks” made it clear the nation was not interested in following through, Tai said.

“It’s part of a pattern,” Tai said. “The United States has repeatedly requested and obtained commitments from China, only to find that lasting change remains elusive.”

The United States must now turn the page of the old playbook, she said, repeating previous comments. The United States renewed its commitment to partners and allies who are hurt by China’s unfair trade and economic practices, Tai said. Biden recognizes that the United States must work with allies and partners hurt by China to confront policies that “are fundamentally at odds with the modern global trading system,” she said.

Read more: US trade chief says new direction needed because China hasn’t changed

Beijing and Washington fought a trade war from 2018 to early 2020, when they called a truce after China pledged to increase imports from the United States over the next two years. Yet the United States has kept tariffs in place on more than $300 billion in annual imports from its geopolitical rival, and imports from China have failed to meet its purchase commitments.

The Biden administration is weighing what to do about tariffs. While some companies have benefited from protection against Chinese imports, companies that use the goods as inputs in areas such as manufacturing have been harmed.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers this month that the Biden administration was seeking to “reconfigure” tariffs and acknowledged they were contributing to higher prices for goods as U.S. inflation was at its worst. fastest pace in 40 years.

President Joe Biden said on Saturday he would speak to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “soon”, while declining to say when specifically.

Read more: Biden says he’ll talk to Xi ‘soon’, considering tariff easing

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