Washington to start frank trade talks with Beijing

The Biden administration will launch “in the coming days of frank discussions” on trade with China, believing that the Asian giant has not honored its commitments made under the agreement signed in early 2020. “China has made commitments which should benefit certain American industries, including agriculture, which we must enforce, ”US Ambassador to Commerce Katherine Tai will declare on Monday in front of an American think tank.

According to excerpts from her speech, which she is due to deliver at 10 am in front of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Katherine Tai will also announce the launch of “a procedure for targeted exemptions from customs tariffs” which have been set up between 2018 and 2020 by the administration of Donald Trump on Chinese goods representing 370 billion dollars annually.

Punitive or unfair customs

These punitive tariffs, imposed in retaliation for Chinese trade practices deemed “unfair”, are criticized by many companies. In early August, some of the most influential American business groups had urged the Biden administration to reduce these surcharges, pointing out that American industries faced “increased costs” as tariffs are paid by importers.

An American official specified, on condition of anonymity, that these surcharges would remain in place for the duration of the exemption procedure. The US president had asked Katherine Tai to conduct a comprehensive review of US trade strategy vis-à-vis China.

Sharp economic tensions

“We continue to have serious concerns about China’s trade practices” that were not addressed in Phase 1 of the agreement, the ambassador will also underline with reference to more structural issues such as massive government subsidies. Chinese state-owned enterprises or the “theft” of intellectual property.

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China pledged to purchase an additional $ 200 billion in US goods over two years including agricultural products, energy goods and manufacturing, with the goal of reducing the trade imbalance between the two countries.

The agreement signed in mid-January 2020 between Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He allowed a truce in the trade war between the United States and China which had slowed the growth of the two countries. But this agreement has “mixed” results, said the American official who wished to remain anonymous, stressing on Monday that the goal is not “to worsen trade tensions” with China.

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