U.S. trade representative Tai vows to enforce ‘phase one’ trade deal with China

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  • US Trade Representative Catherine Tai is set to deliver a speech on Monday outlining the Biden administration’s China trade strategy. She will speak at the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Washington should implement a phase one trade deal with China, and will raise broader policy concerns with Beijing, Tai is expected to say.
  • According to prepared remarks, “China made commitments intended to benefit certain US industries, including agriculture, that we must implement.”
  • Tai is also expected to announce a targeted tariff exclusion process for firms to avoid punitive tariffs, and to hold “clear talks” with Chinese counterparts in the coming days.

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Washington should implement the US-China phase one trade deal and will raise broader policy concerns with Beijing, US Trade Representative Catherine Tai said on Monday, according to her press office.

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“Today, I will lay out the starting point of our administration’s strategic vision of realizing our trade policies toward China to protect the interests of America’s workers, businesses, farmers and producers, and to strengthen our middle class.” Center for Strategic and International Studies according to the remarks prepared for delivery.

“China made commitments with the intention of benefiting certain US industries, including agriculture, that we must implement,” Tai is expected to say.

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CNBC reported last week that the top trade adviser would announce that Beijing had not followed through on a Phase I deal that took place under former President Donald Trump’s administration.

Tai is set to deliver a speech on Monday outlining the Biden administration’s China business strategy. She is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. ET at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

According to prepared remarks, Tai will say that the US has “serious concerns” about China’s “state-focused and non-market trade practices” that were not addressed in the first phase of the deal.

“As we work to implement the terms of the first phase, we will raise these broader policy concerns with Beijing,” she would say.

step one agreement

In a trade deal signed in January 2020, Beijing pledged to buy at least $200 billion more US goods and services in 2020 and 2021 than in 2017. The agreement halted a trade battle between the US and China that dragged on for nearly two years.

However, by August China had reached only 62% of that target, based on US export data compiled by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think tank.

A senior administration official told reporters that US President Joe Biden believes the Phase I deal “did not meaningfully address our fundamental concerns with China’s trade practices.”

“Unlike his predecessor, President Biden will hold China accountable where China is falling short of its commitments,” the official said during a background call.

“We will use the full range of equipment we have and develop new equipment as needed,” the US trade representative said on Monday. Protect American economic interests from harmful policies and practices.”

He is also expected to announce a targeted tariff exclusion process for firms to avoid punitive tariffs and hold “clear talks” with Chinese counterparts in the coming days.

US officials said during the background call that the Phase I deal would be reconsidered and Washington would not seek talks on the Phase II deal.

“We recognize that China cannot change easily, and we have to devise a strategy that treats China the way we want to,” said one official.

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